Coyote Beautiful - Montana Wildlives

Like most humans, male-female pairs of coyotes meet and bond for 2-3 months before copulation occurs. However, unlike humans coyotes are strictly monogamous. Weighing less than a pound at birth, coyote pups are nevertheless walking by time they are 20 days old.

Coyotes have the expected enemies but some unexpected friends. As far as enemies, it begins and ends with humans (a few altercations with mountain lions and wolves aside). Their list of friends is long however. Coyotes mate not only with other coyotes but also with wolves, and DNA studies have shown that most wolves have some coyote in their blood. Perhaps surprisingly, coyotes often form friendships with the irate American badger, with pairs hunting together (utilizing the coyote's speed and the badger's digging ability) and even grooming each other afterward. Two misunderstood misfits, finding solace in each others' company and joining forces against the mighty ground squirrel.

Sadly, we will note that although there have been only two fatal attacks by coyotes on humans documented in the entire history of documentation, approximately 400,000 coyotes are killed by humans in North America every year. That is not a typo. Four-hundred thousand. Four-zero-zero-zero-zero-zero. That is over 1,000 every day, more than one per minute, 24-7-365. Most are killed branches of the Federal government but coyote killing contests and other spectacles take their share as well. Well if they aren't a danger to us, it must be because the coyotes kill livestock you say (as if this would be a valid excuse even if true)? Nope, coyotes eat voles, squirrels, groundhogs, and small reptiles, along with fruits and vegetables, and very rarely join forces to kill anything as large as a fawn or lamb. But wait Mr. Coyote, WE wanted to kill the fawns and lambs!

In any case, even in those rare instances, it would be far more efficient economically (and infinitely more compassionate) to throw a few hundred bucks at the rancher than to run around killing every coyote we see. If we’re honest with ourselves we would admit that we pay taxes every year so that these animals can be poisoned and shot from helicopters because they look like wolves (which just makes us angry), out of habit (we’ve always done it that way ma’am), or to demonstrate our control over nature, a desire that seems profoundly more important to us than our desire to show mercy. Just because we can kill something doesn’t mean we should. The beautiful, intelligent, resourceful, wonderful creatures shown below and all like them deserve our respect and protection rather than our indifference or savagery. Let's show them how compassionate we can be and not just how strong.

Resources (Warning: Some of these sites show the brutal truth of what we do to coyotes and other animals, although they are far from the worst we could show. If you choose not to visit these sites we hope it is because you already understand the brutality we exhibit toward wild animals and not because you are willing to pay to support an activity you cannot confront).

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