West Seattle coyotes: Sunning near Schmitz Park

August 31, 2012 at 7:09 pm | In Coyotes, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 39 Comments

“Look who was sunbathing in my backyard today!” Jude wrote, sharing this photo on the WSB Facebook page. Clearest, “closest” coyote photo we’ve seen in a while – but no, Jude wasn’t really face-to-face with this one; she was inside her home and equipped with good camera equipment, as well as skill. She lives near Schmitz Park – but remember, as our map of WSB’ers’ coyote reports showed, they’re everywhere, not just near parks/greenbelts. (If you do wind up close to one, the best thing to do for their sake and yours is to try hard to scare it away – the state’s coyote-info page has suggestions.)

39 Comments

  1. Looks cute… unless your cat is in it’s mouth.

    Comment by Dora — 7:24 pm August 31, 2012 #

  2. For those that do not believe that they are out during the daylight hours, this certainly shows they are. I do so wish people would keep their cats inside where they are safe.

    Comment by Faith4 — 8:12 pm August 31, 2012 #

  3. “Looks cute, unless it’s your cat in its mouth,”. . .or your pup.

    Comment by Livin' in West Seattle since '91 — 8:42 pm August 31, 2012 #

  4. Look who’s not afraid of humans! Yeah, they’ll just be so darned cute and cuddly until they’re biting a toddler.

    Comment by Rebecca — 8:56 pm August 31, 2012 #

  5. Rebecca, toddlers are hit by cars, fall from windows and get burned by water and fire more often than attacked by coyotes. People need to get a grip on reality. Stop leaving food out for them and they’ll avoid you too. They prowl on rodents, be happy.

    Comment by Mike — 9:20 pm August 31, 2012 #

  6. Beautiful animal and photo!

    Comment by mehud — 9:42 pm August 31, 2012 #

  7. Wow! Hard to believe a wild animal so large can live in the city. Great shot!

    Comment by Kate — 10:14 pm August 31, 2012 #

  8. Mike – talk to the many people in WS who have lost cats to Coyote. Wild animals will go after anything if they are hungry, not just rodents. Rebecca is correct, they have even attacked toddlers. I have personally seen what they can do to sheep and baby calves. They are not ‘cute’, they are dangerous animals. Wild animals belong in the country not in West Seattle.

    Comment by Dora — 11:25 pm August 31, 2012 #

  9. They say cats are more likely to be hurt in their own homes- by slipping in the shower, or having their tails victimized by rocking chairs..
    Toddlers are rarely hurt by coyotes or rocking chairs, and are far more likely to be attacked by shark jawed pit bulls our neighbors insist on dragging through our busy junctions and parks.

    Comment by Wseattlite — 12:15 am September 1, 2012 #

  10. Dora — they were here first. This used to be “the country”. We are the intruders, and we need to understand that we rob them of their habitat, and respect their needs. We are the ones who need to keep our pets safe. They are beautiful animals, but to be respected, from a distance.

    Comment by Linda — 12:38 am September 1, 2012 #

  11. I think if you follow the seemingly obvious advice (don’t put their food outside and keep them in at night) your toddlers will be alright.

    Comment by Dick — 6:27 am September 1, 2012 #

  12. My neighbor shoots them with his pellet gun. He says he’s never seen the same one twice.

    Comment by phil dirt — 6:58 am September 1, 2012 #

  13. Thank you Linda! I was about to make the same comment.

    Comment by MikeK — 7:05 am September 1, 2012 #

  14. Cats kill millions of wild birds worldwide every year, even by cats that are fed and well-cared for by humans. I’m rooting for the coyotes.

    Comment by Owlster Bierce — 7:35 am September 1, 2012 #

  15. Hide your wife and your children!!!

    Comment by WS Parent — 8:16 am September 1, 2012 #

  16. Love the photo. I realize that Bend, Oregon is not necessary a huge urban environment, but it is a town of 50,000+ people and everyone seemed to manage just fine living with the cougars, bears, racoons, coyotes, and all other manner of wild animals that often made an appearance in our urban landscape. It was recognized that this was one of the many things you balanced when deciding to live and raise your family right smack next door to the Cascade Mountains. I do not want to trivialize the few times that someone has been hurt by a non-domestic animal in a city environment and I am 100% for smart, well planned, animal population control as needed, but in this case, the statistics do not lie; as many have pointed out, your cat or child are far, far, far, more likely to be hurt by a car, domestic dog, standing pool of water, fall from a playground, etc…. then by a coyote.

    Comment by Thistle — 8:19 am September 1, 2012 #

  17. Domestic cats should be kept indoors, where they will be safe from the coyotes and the birds will be safe from the cats.

    Comment by Eric — 8:48 am September 1, 2012 #

  18. People should be kept indoors. Then the coyotes & the toddlers would be safe.

    Comment by Kip — 9:29 am September 1, 2012 #

  19. Owister you need to look in the mirror and scold yourself. You’re a mean person, and as we all know ‘mean people _____’

    Wake up, these coyotes need to be exterminated, and West Seattle need to get rid of them. This place is for PEOPLE AND THEIR PETS.

    When will Mr McMayor take a stand on this threat? Send in the SWAT teams!

    Comment by Buck — 9:32 am September 1, 2012 #

  20. When we moved to the “country” our cats became indoor cats and our dogs only go outside supervised. Learn to live with the wildlife around you and everybody is happy. We see coyote, cougar and bear but haven’t had any problems with them. We do our best to stay out of their way, after all they were here first.

    Comment by Lisa — 9:49 am September 1, 2012 #

  21. Coyote and deer live in cities because they find easy sources of food. Remove the food and they’ll naturally go elsewhere. Cats are a great addition to any coyotes diet.

    Comment by Lisa — 9:51 am September 1, 2012 #

  22. Hey, I have an idea, let’s move ALL the wildlife outside the city—Dora, I presume that also includes foxes, raccoons, possums, red-tailed hawks, moles, rabbits, and songbirds, right?—and put up signs telling them to keep out.
    .
    Think that’ll work?

    Comment by datamuse — 11:07 am September 1, 2012 #

  23. If you are so worried about cats keep em in the house. In Alaska the eagles kill cats and small dogs, so they have housecats. Geeze. A cat running around has alot more dangers from cars and domestic dogs than coyotes, if you want to keep your pet safe keep it in and or fenced.

    Comment by Jen — 11:55 am September 1, 2012 #

  24. “Dora — they were here first.” Actually, Linda, coyotes were very rare here in the city until fairly recent times. They are interlopers in Seattle, like many of you, and they have eaten all of the fairly common, until recently, red foxes. They are wild animals, and if we huminoids don’t stop feeding them, they will lose their fear of us and start trying to eat our little toddlers.

    Comment by phil dirt — 12:20 pm September 1, 2012 #

  25. Not only do they eat your cat, but they also eat small dogs.

    Comment by phil dirt — 12:48 pm September 1, 2012 #

  26. Not approving comments under different handles from the same IP address. Choose one for the discussion and stick to it. Thanks. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:07 pm September 1, 2012 #

  27. Amazing photo! Nice to see us humans haven’t killed them all. Go Mother Nature! I love this photo.

    Comment by Guy Olson — 1:43 pm September 1, 2012 #

  28. Coyotes are not native to this area. Neither are Barred Owls, which are suddenly everywhere, and becoming a bit of an aggressive nuisance.

    Comment by G — 2:12 pm September 1, 2012 #

  29. We need more coyotes and fewer cats.

    Comment by Bill Evans — 2:58 pm September 1, 2012 #

  30. Beautiful photo of a beautiful animal. All of you complaining about the wild life being in our backyards, REALIZE THIS!!… Humans have moved into THEIR neighborhoods, the hills, the mountains etc. Where are they supposed to go. They are losing their habitat to US. They go where they can find food, because they can’t find it in “THEIR” neighborhoods anymore. Quit Clearing the forests and Building your homes on top of the mountains and you won’t have to worry about Coyotes, Wolves, Cougars and bears in your back yard.. Thank you for sharing this picture… Its gorgeous!

    Comment by ~~HockeyWitch~~ — 5:39 pm September 1, 2012 #

  31. No furrowed brow for me. Im not into perpetual self doubt the way most of this town is. Just shoot them and be done with it. Problem solved. Next issue is?

    Comment by Menolikeyou — 6:26 pm September 1, 2012 #

  32. OMG, G. White people aren’t native to this area. But, here we are!

    Comment by Dick — 8:51 pm September 1, 2012 #

  33. Yes, Dick, here we are. What a sparkling observation.

    Comment by G — 10:26 pm September 1, 2012 #

  34. They are losing their habitat to US. They go where they can find food, because they can’t find it in “THEIR” neighborhoods anymore.

    Actually, there is more food in their neighborhoods than ever, due to humans extending into their habitat and bringing refuse and rodents. They are looking for lebenscraum, not food. Same can be said for red-tailed hawks, who are thriving along highways and population areas.

    Comment by G — 10:50 pm September 1, 2012 #

  35. Coyotes are NOT native to the Pacific Northwest. They have not “lost” habitat to humans, in fact just the opposite. Their populations are exploding.
    .

    This is an important issue. Our government is telling us to “coexist” with a large predatory invasive pest species.
    .
    Many people are deeply concerned about this, including pet owners, parents of small children, and the elderly. It would be nice if people could do some basic reading before they propagate myths about coyotes.
    .
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote

    Comment by JoAnne — 9:28 am September 2, 2012 #

  36. I live in a community where several people hired the extermination of a pack of coyotes. As a result, we have seen an increase in rodents, moles,and Mtn.Beavers. We seem to forget statistically, dogs pose a greater threat to humans than coyotes. On record,there are hundreds of dog bites monthly according to King County Animal Control. Also, a coyote is from the dog family and for some reason has become a villain in many peoples minds. Let’s understand what the ecosystem is all about. Without them our streets will become rat infested. One coyote eats approx. 5lbs. of rats daily. How is that for pest control?
    When you kill a portion of any stable coyote pack, you actually proliferate their numbers. The alpha male and female control the breeding of all offspring. Once the male or female is killed, all female offspring go into heat. Now you no longer have a small stable pack. Humans when will you learn to stay out of mother natures way!!

    Comment by Wildlife lover — 9:44 am September 2, 2012 #

  37. Kitty kat is on the menu yum..yum..

    Comment by loser — 11:56 am September 2, 2012 #

  38. I can NOT believe people are scared of coyotes in West Seattle — basic safety precautions are all that are necessary. If they eat your cat– that is sad, but nature taking nature’s course. If you are out with your toddler in Schmitz park, or such, then be prepared to encounter wild life — duh. If you are afraid of coyotes, don’t go into wild life prone areas of W. Seattle. If you see one on your street, consider yourself lucky to have seen one, you are in the huge minority. I’d be more concerned with rats — and coyotes and cats help out with that. But I’m not afraid of rats, coyotes, racoons, snakes, spiders, etc… because I have a pretty good brain and know how to best avoid being killed by such horid beasties. You should be more afraid of your car for sure, or your vacuum.

    Comment by juniperberry — 12:00 pm September 2, 2012 #

  39. Not sure why many who normally would be opposed to the introduction of alien species into an ecosystem, have suddenly rallied around the coyotes. One commentator mentioned that coyotes cull the rodent population. Maybe, but the rodent population was under control before coyotes arrived, via raccoons and owls. What about a predator that has no known predators, and no inclement weather to cull it’s numbers?

    Speaking of owls, the Barred Owl is another transplant that evokes warm and fuzzy feelings, but aggressively preys on native owls, including the Spotted Owl. In fact a legitimate case can be made that it was the Spotted Owl, arriving in the 60′s to the NW, is the reason for diminishing
    Spotted populations, not logging.

    Granted, most of us will never even know coyotes are there, but they are having repercussions that we may not even realize yet.

    Comment by G — 5:55 pm September 2, 2012 #

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