Coyotes in Niagara Region
by Mary Lynn Horton
(Beamsville, Ontario, Canada)
For the past 15 years I have walked with Coyotes.
Going to a number of parks and Conservation Areas while walking my dogs near Beamsville and Grimsby I have constantly encountered many Coyotes.
Sometimes a Coyote (a big blonde) would parallel my dogs and I as we walked. He was probably about 2,000 yards across a field from us, but he would stop when we stopped and begin walking with us, keeping pace, when we walked.
I watched him through my binoculars - he was absolutely gorgeous.
One day, I was walking my Bull Mastiff, my little Staffy Pit bBull and their son, a Bull Mastiff / Bull Terrier cross, when two Coyotes came up out of a gully and stared at us.
The Bull Mastiff and the Bull Mastiff cross pretended not to see them,(total denial) but my little Staffy howled her head off and went after the male Coyote who led her on a merry chase which she lost - which I knew would happen.
Always, I would encounter these intelligent, resourceful animals on my walks in this area and still do, but now, our encounters have been much diminished since the great howl to ¨get rid¨ of the Coyotes was thrown up by new homeowners (those same people who come to Niagara to get away from Toronto and ¨live at one with nature¨).
They live in subdivisions encroaching the foot of the escarpment where the coyotes live and when they see a Coyote
they freak out.
So, sadly, I do not see as many Coyotes as I used to, but they are still here and I still do see them.
I have come face to face with them (about 10ft.) and they always simply turn around and slowly walk away. They never run away, and they never seem very afraid of me or my dogs.
Their composure is so calm that my dogs simply stare at them in, I dunno, utter disbelief (I now have two English Bull Terriers).
I am just very sad that Coyotes are maligned and misunderstood and that stupid Nova Scotia has put a $20 bounty on them.
I think if we took a count of how many people are killed and injured every year by deer running in front of our cars, people might understand that Wolves
, Coyotes and the Coyote/Wolf crosses are keeping the deer herds down and actually saving lives.
Not to mention eating tons of mice and moles. (read: Never Cry Wolf)
Town and city people know nothing of wild animals, their habitat or their role in nature.
Makes me very sad.
But, sometimes at night when I hear the Coyotes howling that crazy chorus of high yipping wild delight - I have hope and share in their wild joyous song.
They were here before us and I fervently hope they will carry on.Thank you for such a lovely and well-written article Mary Lynn, I know our readers will enjoy this very much!