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.

Image from Bill Weaver (g'pa bill) on the flickr Creative Commons

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2 thoughts on “Coyotes in Colorado Given a Burrito Feast

  1. You just can’t fix stupid. People keep imbuing wild animals with magical anthropomorphic personalities and they start seeing them as human or at very least somehow capable of rational thoughts. It’s a sad thing, but the lady in Colorado who ignored the advice of authorities and kept feeding the “cute bears” around her home eventually got killed. Why do people do this? Great Gra’mpa called it “Dang City Folk”.

  2. Go ahead and blame all the carnage on the animals!! The statement that they are now encroaching on urban areas is laughable. A decade ago your urban area was their home range and the “humans” took it away. Just like government to decide what’s good for everyone, ha! Why doesn’t someone consider what’s good for every thing? You know those that walk on two or four legs? Stop thinking about your new house with the three car garage and start thinking about the homes of the species living in that area now. It’s not always about what’s best for the “humans” on this planet. I’m not even a tree hugger, just imagine what they’d have to say about this?

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