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  • Tacoma Educational Article of the Month - About coyote

About coyote

About coyote

Coyotes are probably the native equivalent for North America of the old world jackal but coyotes are a bit larger than a jackal and much more predatory. Tacoma Coyotes get up to about 46 pounds in weight and the adults can be just over 2 feet at the shoulder, coyotes can run flat out at about 45 miles an hour for a short period. Scientists say the Washington coyote ancestors were the same ancestors as the gray wolf, but this species diverged about 1 to 2 million years ago, they generally have a very flexible social organization and can either live in a family unit or in a loosely knit pack of unrelated individuals.

The diet of the coyote consists primarily of meat which is obvious because they are carnivorous. That said they have been known to eat a lot of other things, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and insects and even fruit and vegetables when nothing else is available. As we all know coyotes are very very vocal animals, we've all heard the Washington coyote howl, even if only in a movie, that howl is only emitted by an individual looking to link up with others of its species, or to find a mate. The coyotes only real enemies are humans, cougars and gray wolves, even though coyotes and gray wolves have mated and produced hybrids which are called Tacoma “coywolves”. Coyotes play a major part in Native American folklore usually been depicted as a trickster but in some American cultures, like the Aztecs, the coyote was a main deity.

Even though the attitude of humans towards gray wolves has improved immensely since World War II the same cannot be said for the coyote, most humans still believe coyotes should be shot on sight. Dogs and coyotes generally do not get along and this is believed mostly because Tacoma coyotes form pair bonds that stay together for many many years, whereas dogs if they ever have a pair bond is usually with a human being. That said coyotes have mated with dogs but generally these matings are non-successful, very few of these pups survived to reach adult hood and didn't have the same loyalty as dogs for their masters but in turn were rejected by wild coyotes.

Coyote pups are born wherever the female decides they will be, the female picks the den site which can be just about anywhere, she has the pups, and then her and her mate raise them, any other Washington coyotes with them help raise the pups to.

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