Last fall, while on a beautiful drive down Skyline, I spotted what appeared to be a lost dog standing in the road. As my fog lights adjusted to the dusky haze, I realized that the majestic creature before me was a coyote.
With a quick flash of my brights and a honk of the horn, the creature before me was gone. This article is dedicated to my newest canine neighbor, the urban coyote.
Coyotes, Canis latrans, play a vital role in our ecosystem and are native to North America. This extremely adaptable canine frequents many parts of the Pacific Northwest. Weighing between 20 to 50 pounds, the coyote is about the size of a medium dog. Recently, advances in urban development have encroached on the coyotes’ natural habitat leading to more sightings by humans.
These changes have led to coyotes being spotted in suburbs, neighborhoods, parks and on public trails. Coyotes are usually not aggressive unless threatened, but can be territorial during their breeding season, which runs from late January to late March.
Though coyote attacks are rare, here are a few tips to protect you and your pet this season.
This fall I hope you bundle up, get outside, and enjoy the beauty that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. I definitely will be. With the tips provided, you and your fur babies can stay safe, active and create more seasonal memories. So get out there and live. Happy Fall!
To learn more about the urban coyote in your area, visit www.audobonportland.org.
You can ask Dr. Jasmine your pet question or email your pet photo to [email protected]