Do coyotes get heartburn? According to the Daily Camera, a mystery resident of Boulder, Colorado decided to make a generous food donation. The spread of burritos, fruit, and other human food was left for the animals near Boulder Creek Path, a known hangout for coyotes. Officials happened on the scene after the food was devoured and warned residents not to feed the coyotes. It’s against the law.
“In supplying coyotes with a food source or feeding coyotes, you’re supplying them with a reason to be more comfortable with humans,” said city wildlife coordinator Val Matheson. They continue to be more and more comfortable around people, and that seems to lead to their expectation of people as being a supplier of food. And so they will then approach people looking for food, and we have seen in other areas that that’s when people get bit.”
Coyotes generally roam in small packs or pairs. Their populations are growing rapidly in urban areas such as Boulder and are beginning to encroach on suburbs and even inner-city areas by living off of small rodents such as rats or squirrels. Being so close to city limits is weaning the species of their instinctive fear of humans and coyotes are starting to see people as sources for food.
The impromptu buffet came just as the city was stepping up its coyote hazing program due to an increase of sightings and incidents in the past several months. Efforts have so far quelled any further incidents, but authorities still urge–strongly–that feeding the animals is a very bad idea. The last thing the area needs are coyotes addicted to hot salsa.