Published on January 11, 2012 | by Patty Arnold1
Coyote Encounters Part I
Several years ago, I was running through the woods behind the Kent State Campus next to the fairgrounds. I have run the course many dozens of times. This particular day, however, held an unusual surprise. As I was running along the thickly wooded section of the path, I rounded a bend and was met by four long-legged, tawny canines. They were no more than 15 feet away. We stared at each other for several seconds. It was only a short encounter, then they bounded away. But I have never forgotten their faces and the four pairs of eyes that met mine that day. No snarls, no evil eyes. Just beautiful wild dogs out on a hunt or perhaps a morning stroll.
There have been many coyote sightings and many more coyote howls heard throughout Geauga County. I thought it might be interesting to learn a bit more about them and their way of life.
- The scientific name for coyote is Canis latrans, which means barking dog in Latin. The name coyote comes from the Aztec word coyotl.
- Coyote parents may supply live mice to their pups for hunting practice.
- Coyotes are native only to North America.
- When coyotes are about two years old, they select a mate and stay with that mate for life.
- The coyote’s keen intelligence and senses help it adapt to many different habitats. It is even seen many times in the city.
- Coyotes communicate in a variety of ways including barking, growling and howling, and often howl in chorus. They also communicate with body language and through scent.
- Coyotes are frequently killed when caught in cities rather than being released into the wild.
- When hunting, coyotes sometimes pursue prey in relays, enabling packs to run down animals that could escape a single coyote. The list of prey able to escape a coyote is short – this is due to the fact that these animals can run in bursts as fast as 40 miles per hour and they also can jump over a 8′ fence. These animals can also travel up to 400 miles at a stretch, stopping only occasionally to howl for news.