January 20

The coyote of Maple Leaf?



Greg emails under the subject line: “Coyote spotted in Maple Leaf”:

Not sure if someone else sent this tip in, but we saw this guy last Thursday on the corner of Eighth Avenue Northeast and Northeast 94th street at 8:20am. He looked pretty happy and comfortable…not sure if he is a regular.

Given that Thornton Creek cuts though Maple Leaf, this seems possible.

(Maybe he’s on his way to class at Olympic View Elementary.)

Any other sitings?

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Sara W

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  1. Our dog was chewed up pretty bad a couple of months ago, at night, in the back yard. I assumed it was a raccoon, but maybe not. She is healed and hopefully will be properly cautious in the future, no matter what happened.

  2. My next-door neighbors (NE 97th St. just north of Olympic View Elementary) lost their chickens, who’ve lived loose inside the high-fenced yard for years, so I don’t think it was Rocky Racoon. I believe it was on or shortly after this sighting.
    Thanks for the information, Erin.

  3. Hello! I’m adjacent to Maple Leaf at Burke Ave. N. up against Washelli cemetery. Coyotes have lived peacefully for decades in the cemetery; occasionally we hear them singing or see one, but they are shy, avoid people, and eat wild food.
    The coyote pictured is part of a new pack that just came into the area. They are not like the cemetery coyotes. They are large in size, bold, unafraid of people, are out in the middle of the day in high density areas as well as night, and hunt pets. They seem to be ranging as far south as Greenlake and as far north as 155th. East to at least 15thN.E. And west across Aurora. They have been seen in fenced yards, between houses, and running down the middle of the street as well as in green belts and wooded areas. We in the Haller Lake neighborhood have Washelli, so they are hanging out here more often. There are at least 3-4 members in the pack, possibly more. You won’t always see them together because they will often separate to hunt, then regroup if one is successful. In the last week, they have been seen and heard several times both day and night.
    Coyotes won’t just take cats and small dogs, they will lure big dogs into chasing them and then 5 feet into the woods the rest of the pack will ambush the dog and kill it. Some urban coyotes never kill pets, this pack does. Real caution should be used in this situation, both for our beloved pets and for the coyotes.
    I am a wildlife advocate and have never believed in killing predators just because they are close to humans, or seen as a possible threat, and I never will. But this pack needs to be encouraged to move on to deeper forest. For the safety of our pets and yard chickens, and for their safety as well. They are going to get on a kill list or get hit by a car at some point if they don’t leave because they are just too bold.
    I went to Cougar Mountain Zoo and bought tiger/cougar poop. You have to call ahead and order it, then drive out and pick it up when it is ready. If you place it around the perimeter of your yard, the coyotes ( and deer) should give it a wide berth. You can also order wolf urine online ( predatorpeestore.com gets theirs from humane sources; sanctuaries, preserves, etc.)
    Some people have thought they might be coy-dogs which would account for their size and lack of fear of people, others have thought people might be feeding them (which is a profoundly bad idea. All of the experts say that feeding wild predators doesn’t tame them, it simply makes them unafraid. When unafraid they can start to get aggressive and territorial. This is always very bad for them, because humans don’t tolerate feeling threatened and tend to obliterate both the threat and anything that even slightly resembles the threat). As far as I know they have not been aggressive toward people, but are definitely unafraid. I have come face-to-face with them a few times now right outside my house. I have lived next door to the cemetery coyotes for six years, and yet have seen and heard more coyotes in the last week than I have in other 5 years combined, and it is all the same pack. If you have chickens, dogs that you let out off leash to potty in the yard, or cats that insist they be let outside, you might want to be proactive and buy some predator pee or poop. Until this pack leaves, they will hunt. When they have a successful hunt, one more household has lost a beloved family member and is in anguish. A person in anguish, or indeed, even just actively defending their pets or livestock, goes from “Just let wild creatures do their thing, we’re taking too much territory, of course they need to move in” to “Kill that thing.” very quickly. I know I would try to kill a grizzly with my bare hands if it were attacking my dog. There are people that would love to see this coyote or its pack be a kind of mascot for the neighborhood, but these guys aren’t the right choice for that, they don’t have the temperament. Encouraging them to move deep into a forested park is the best way to go. If you see one, don’t quietly admire it (my first impulse), instead yell at it, wave your hands, act aggressively, chase it. Make seeing and being around a human into an unpleasant and frightening experience for them. Protecting our pets and hopefully helping this pack survive and move to a wilder place is a win-win for everyone.

  4. @Adele Coyotes are generally not bold enough to attack a child. I grew up with them roaming through our front and backyard (we lived in a canyon in Southern California). If they are that aggressive, its due to rabies.

    Cats, on the other hand, are the preferred coyote snack.

  5. I saw it this morning on 98th near 8th. I was walking my dog and was on the street and the coyote was in the yard between us and the house. We looked at each other but I don’t think my dog saw it. Not sure what would have happened if there had been barking….

  6. @MapleLeafBob

    Great point, and come to think of it, I haven’t seen my neighbors cat in a few weeks… and this is a cat that practically lives in my yard to get away from all of the noisy dogs that this same neighbor keeps in their back yard.

  7. Numbers of children walk on that sidewalk in the morning (and reverse) who attend Olympic View Elementary School. I live a block away, and my cat is no longer having his after-dinner or after-breakfast ramble. Thanks very much for the picture and warning!

  8. Sighting, people, sighting.

    “Siting” is what a developer does in deciding where on a parcel to plop an apartment building.

  9. About 8 years ago I saw three coyotes hunting squirrels in Washelli Cemetery in the early morning. They were having a grand time.

    Furthermore …

    [i]Andy Cleland with USDA Wildlife Services confirms there has been a huge upswing in the coyote population here in Western Washington over the last 10 years. Especially, during this time of year, young coyotes are out and about trying to detach from their parents.

    Cleland says coyotes are incredibly adaptable and can survive in cities because of all the shelter and sources of food, including pet food and compost.

    “Every time we see a coyote, we have to harass it and make it feel afraid they’re very sensitive to human interaction,” said Cleland.

    Cleland says if you come across a coyote create a negative experience. Throw sticks and stones, bang pots and pans and make yourself appear large. Cleland says it’s OK to back away slowly, but absolutely don’t run the other way. You should also report the sighting to the USDA Wildlife Services at 360-337-2778.[/i]


  10. It’s been about 7 or 8 years, but I did see a coyote –once — in the very northeast end of Maple Leaf, in the Kingfisher Natural Area on Thornton Creek. That siting was also in daylight.

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