They’re Just Drawn That Way

One day I was talking to my friend about a mini-drama I witnessed on the Franklin Greenway.  It was late in the day.  A fox was stalking a rabbit.  He had the bunny, frozen in terror, dead in his sights.  I bragged that my coming along upset the kill.  My friend, who is a lawyer, and used to seeing all sides of a dilemma, said, “Why, Donna, a fox has to make a living, too.”

His words stuck with me and ultimately changed my childlike take on the whole food chain phenomenon. 

 Yes, of course, that’s the way of things.  As Jessica Rabbit (who was married to a bunny) once said, “I’m not bad.  I’m just drawn that way.”  

Predators aren’t bad.  We’ve just drawn them that way, figuratively speaking.

Case in point: Wile E. Coyote.  Most of us, of Baby Boomer age anyway, grew up thinking coyotes were starving, dumb, conniving carnivores.  They deserved to fall off a cliff, indent the highway, and then get clobbered by an Acme Anvil.  But the truth is, coyotes are relatively harmless critters who are just trying to make a living, too.  Like any opportunistic beast, bears included, if scraps are thrown out, dog bowls are left outside, spilled birdseed covers the ground thus attracting prey, or other enticing dining ops are offered, there’s a good chance a coyote will take advantage.

Some worry that coyotes will carry off small pets.  

Justin McVey, North Carolina Wildlife Commission Biologist says, “The simple fact is that coyotes are opportunistic.  They eat what’s available.  Coyotes don’t cause much ‘damage’ and might be keeping meso-predators and rodents in check.”  

 In other words, they play an important role in the balance of nature.

While Biologist McVey’s expansive study did not reveal evidence of any pet consumption, there are occasional reports of coyote intrusion regarding pets. Please refer to all the literature on concerning coyotes to learn how to coexist with this cousin of wolves and dogs. offers information about coyotes’ habits, history, and the reason they are now living in urban and suburban areas.  Check out “Coexisting with Coyotes” and other articles/links that will help prevent coyote conflicts.

For answers to questions and technical guidance on addressing coyote concerns, call (866) 318-2401 or (919) 707-4011.  Let’s rethink the way coyotes are drawn.