Coyotes in Our Midst
The Ann Arbor Observer reports this month on the sighting of coyotes in Ann Arbor. Not just on the edges of town, or in parks, but in residential neighborhoods. This is, apparently, not unusual and not entirely unwelcome. The presence of coyotes has been reported in every major city of the US. They begin to appear when the population of rodents and rabbits, with no real predators in town, reaches ungainly proportions and they are actually a part of the solution to that imbalance. Though they are not a threat to humans, the article advises special care be taken at dawn and dusk to protect small pets.
The library has sources for learning more about these creatures which, through choice or desperation, are moving closer and beginning to share our spaces. For general information, try Wild Dogs, Spirit of the Wild Dog or Coyote: Seeking the Hunter in Our Midst. How they come to be so close is the theme of these books: Coyotes in the Crosswalk: True Tales of Animal Life in the Wilds of the City and Animals Among Us: Living With Suburban Wildlife.
With their reputation as wily hunters and escape artists, coyotes have captured the imagination of many of the First Peoples of this continent. We have many trickster tales, folktales and native tales about coyotes, this one in the form of a graphic novel.
The book I learned the most from about coyotes is fiction, Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver, where she relates beautifully the great advantages of welcoming these animals into the natural order of our world. Main Street might be a bit close for comfort though!