January 26, 2020, at the River Trail Nature Center
A property owner in Tennessee found what he thought was a litter of stray puppies in a drainpipe and raised them, then took them to a shelter. Later, a veterinarian said, “Hmmm. These are coyotes.” Apparently coyote pups look like dog pups.
This one ended up at River Trail Nature Center, part of the Cook County Forest Preserves. He’s too imprinted and tame to survive on his own. Our guide reminded us that typical coyotes avoid humans. The incidents of aggressive coyotes usually can be traced to injury or to the coyote being fed and losing its natural fear of people. Don’t feed the wildlife (except birds, of course).
Our guide also told us Cook County’s many coyotes are the most studied in the country. Many sport radio collars. When the collar stops moving, the researchers look for what they assume is a dead coyote. Often they find a chewed-up radio collar. Even with their long snouts, they can’t reach the collar, so they buddy up and chew each other’s collars off.