MDD I am grateful that Maggie has made the recovery she has and I am sure she is grateful for you!
She is blessed to have such a loyal "best friend"!
gaseousclay I won't give you any flack for your comments as I would guess you just haven't had much experience with coyotes. So I am going to throw out some info on them.
They are the ultimate killing machine!
They can run at speeds close to 40 mph for miles.
They can pinpoint a mouse's location from from just a squeak from almost 600 yards!
They analyze over 3 BILLION PPM scent particles each time they inhale and can detect the presence of a scent from just 2 PPM!
They can leap a 6 foot privacy fence.
They are routinely trapped and removed from fenced game reserves with high fences!
They can survive natural events that effect numbers of other species!
They have killed animals just to eat the nutritious entrails leaving the rest of the animal to go kill another.
They are efficient animals, adapting to THEIR world as WE change it. Unfortunately we have created an environment that is in their favor.
They are efficient in that they will make a choice to take an animal that requires the least amount of energy to catch over an elusive animal every time! Don't get me wrong, they kill plenty of wild animals! But while our pets still have the natural ability to detect the presence of the coyote, they aren't bread to register every animal encounter as a threat on their life. Therefore, our pets are like a fast food drive thru for them.
Yes, coyotes have to eat. They are a vital part of our ecosystem! But development and expansion has skewed the things drastically in their favor.
In my area they have no enemy other then the few humans who hunt them. They can have 5-12 pups in a litter and once dispersed, a young coyote can travel over 100 miles to find it's own territory! They literally swarm an area! Because of this, in places on the east coast where they had never seen or dealt with the canis latrans, they are now wide spread. They can wreak havoc on the native animals before they have a chance to adapt themselves!
I have a great bit of respect for this cunning creature God created! But I also believe they need controlled. We CAN NOT eliminate the species by calling, hunting or shooting every coyote we encounter. Studies have show the coyote could handle 60% of the annual population being eliminated!
If we don't keep them in check nature will. Nature does it with diseases. When the coyote population gets infected they spread the diseases (rabies, mange, heart worms and some say lyme disease) to other species. While it could be argued that all the species effected needed a population check. This route is a VERY cruel one!
The population boom we have witnessed since WE eliminated the wolf allowed the coyote to become the top predator in North America. This has greatly reduced other species such as red fox and prey species. Some upland game birds have all but been removed from the wild in some ares.
But, as these pictures show, they effect many other species!
coyote with a fawn
coyote with a turkey
a nice whitetail eventually hamstrung by coyotes
while this little guy may have gotten in a lick or two I am sure it did not end well
possibly like this one
and then fluffy never had a chance
Their existence and population effect ALL other species.
They have every right to be here! But so do the other species.
We have to right the balance!