I’ve warned Whitewater more than once about the probability of a coyote invasion. See Coyotes Begin War Against Humanity, Cat Defends Arizona Home Against Coyote, Coyotes abundant, troublesome in Rock County — GazetteXtra, Cat Defeats Three Coyotes in Combat, and Cat v. Coyote.
(Ludicrously, Whitewater last year passed a ban against feeding wildlife on homeowners’ private yards — including feeding chipmunks and squirrels, honest to goodness. All the while, the city took no action in the face of the looming coyotepocalypse. That’s a case of over- and under-regulation. It should have been obvious to Whitewater’s last council president that there was a greater threat facing this city. Some people simply can’t see the forest for the trees.
Alternatively, perhaps that gentleman was aware of the danger, and thought that banning squirrel feeding would reduce the supply of food for marauding coyotes. Oh, no, not at all! By banning the feeding of harmless squirrels and chipmunks, Whitewater’s ordinance will force ferocious predators to move up the food chain: pets, small children, then finally slow-moving adults.)
Even those generally sympathetic to coyotes, if not duped by them, unwittingly reveal where this trend leads. David Drake, et al. write that Coyotes are here to stay in North American cities – here’s how to appreciate them from a distance [emphasis added]:
Coyotes have become practically ubiquitous across the lower 48 United States, and they’re increasingly turning up in cities. The draws are abundant food and green space in urban areas.
At first these appearances were novelties, like the hot summer day in 2007 when a coyote wandered into a Chicago Quiznos sub shop and jumped into the beverage cooler. Within a few years, however, coyote sightings became common in the Bronx and Manhattan. In 2021 a coyote strolled into a Los Angeles Catholic school classroom. They’re also appearing in Canadian cities.
People often fear for their own safety, or for their children or pets, when they learn about coyotes in their neighborhoods. But as an interdisciplinary team studying how people and coyotes interact in urban areas, we know that peaceful coexistence is possible – and that these creatures actually bring some benefits to cities.
‘From a distance’ connotes to as far away as possible.
In parts of this country now overrun, if not truly dominated, by coyotes, pet owners have turned to private industry to protect their companion animals from depredation. CoyoteVest (‘Not Today, Coyote’), for example, equips small pets to face the dangers lurking outside:
In Whitewater, people won’t feed coyotes — coyotes will feed on people.
Yet, for it all, I am confident that we can prevail, if only we would focus on the true challenges facing us.