A few years ago, I read a story on the Internet about children in Chino Hills, Ca getting attacked by coyotes in these suburban settings. Apparently, the coyotes come down from the hills, out of the woods, motor from Macy’s, etc, and proceed onto playgrounds and bite small kids. After stifling a chuckle about the situation, I appreciated that the issue was indeed serious. I mean, while the whole story has a sort of Warner Bros. flavor to it, it is distressing in that the coyotes were attacking small people. And I decided that I wanted to repost that blog. In case you had not heard about these attacks, here is some background from the Los Angeles Times.
Apparently, the sprawl of Urbanity has led the coyote to roam about the suburban landscape looking for tasty morsels of kiddie flesh. In fact, the Chino Hills website even has a question regarding the relative usual or unusual-ness of coyotes being spotted in the area:
4.Is it unusual to see a coyote roaming around the neighborhood?
NO, it is not. Drought conditions in Chino Hills have resulted in an increase in the number of wildlife sightings and incidents in residential neighborhoods and parks. Coyotes are being seen in neighborhoods and parks as they seek food and water in the lush landscaping found in parks and residential neighborhoods.
What prompted me to return to this issue was a discussion I had with a pit bull owner yesterday. Apparently, the state of Michigan is discussing the issue of banning pit bulls from ownership. She was distressed and she went on to state that the problem with vicious pit bulls is poor ownership. I agreed with her and added that that was only a part of the problem. The other part is that a pit bull is an animal and will do what it instinctively needs/wants to do when it comes down to it. People need to respect critters for what they are. For example, I share my habitat with a Burmese Python. One day, he will be huge. I know that I need to respect that he will be a huge snake with sharp teeth and keep him fed and happy, lest he react like a snake is going to react. A pit bull is a big, inherently aggressive dog. It has to be. It was bred to deal with wrangling bulls. However, they can be wonderful if raised, reared, and properly kept.
However, she was not hearing that noise. She believed that no matter what, proper raising will subvert any instinct the dog may possess. I politely restated my position and began to think about the coyote and decided that instead of discussing the issue of pit bulls, I would repost my coyote blog as a commentary of the human encroachment into more space, leaving less space for the wild; the conflicts between the two escalating as our worlds come closer and closer and closer…
I searched for the blog I wrote on the subject and could not find it anywhere. I was particularly disappointed because in addition to a social commentary on the subject of rapid human sprawl, I wrote what I believed to be a clever song (to the tune of “Folsom Prison Blues”) from the coyotes perspective. But why hear from the vicious, toddler-chomping coyote? He ran out and bit a poor, unsuspecting little one on the ass and ran off after having a taste of what kids were all about: cookies, dirt, and nose-pickings. While unappealing to some, apparently the coyote shared the experience with his friends and more coyotes began to come out for nibbles on kids. Now, the kids were not getting eaten, just a little nip, and then coyote would flee. Maybe, they were not attacks to eat the children, but were part of some hazing rite for entry into some coyote fraternity, gang, or the Coyote Liberation Front. No matter the case, can we really blame the coyote?
What do we expect? We move our asses into their environment and restrict their space so that they have to return the encroachment by learning to survive with us. Unfortunately, that means that small folk may start to look a bit like children McNuggets. To top it off, we stuff the little people with savory, fattening fast foods and sit them inside in front of gaming systems all day; the kids get all chubby and tender from the underuse of their little muscles. We are turning children in the United States into a type of free-range human veal, who can blame the coyote for wanting a little bite?
So, that was the gist of the blog. I even found an article on the subject and was able to include a link for your perusal. However, I lost my original song re-write and so, I attempted to re-write it from memory. I think I did a decent job with the attempt:
San Bernadino Animal Control Shelter Blues (Sung ala “Folsom Prison Blues”)
I heard them voices making,
Noises over that thar hill;
They didn’t sound like normal
Food-type Critters I would kill.
Now, I’m stuck in San Bernadino,
And time keeps draggin’ on,
I was trapped by a dog catcher,
He lured me with fake bones.
When I was just a puppy,
My Mama told me, “Son,
Always be a good whelp,
Don’t ever bite kids’ buns,”
But I bit a child in Chino,
Just to watch him cry,
Since he was so damn yummy,
I had to bite his thigh.
I know there’s pit bulls eatin’,
In them fancy urban scenes,
They’re probably chewin’ children,
From the ass right to the knee,
But I know I had it comin’,
I know I can’t be free,
But dem toddlers look delicious,
And that’s what tortures me.
I wish they’d let me move to Michigan,
Where kids get bitten all the time,
I swear I’ve learned my lesson,
I’ll chew other kids’ behinds,
Far away from Chino,
That’s where I want to stay,
I’d move out East to Detroit,
And bite my blues away.