Wily coyotes

On Friday, Banjo and I saw a trio of coyotes while we were out on our run. They did not appear unannounced: a woman in a white SUV stopped and told us about them, expecting us to turn away (I think). What the what?! I don’t flee from coyotes.

Banjo and I slowed down to a walk and kept going. Two of the coyotes crossed the road in front of us and moved into a bank parking lot to our north. We crossed to the south side of the street to give them more room, but I kept an eye out for Number 3. I spotted him (her?), already milling around in the parking lot. The first two coyotes re-crossed the road, to the south, so Banjo and I crossed back north again. The three coyotes – two in someone’s front yard, one way off in the bank parking lot – watched as we passed by. Banjo paused to mark a telephone pole so they’d know what’s up.

Most of the coyotes I see around Tucson are emaciated and fragile-looking; the Desert Museum reports that they are typically 15-25 pounds (compared to Banjo, who’s about 60 pounds). These guys looked pretty hale, but I think it was just an illusion created by their winter coats.

If that woman had told me that there were three loose dogs up ahead, I would have turned around right away. Banjo and I have been charged and threatened by loose dogs more times than I can count. They are the reason I carry pepper spray. But coyotes? Whatevs. Those guys are just looking for housecats.

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