West Seattle coyotes: 4 sightings, including ‘Wanna play?’

Tom shared that photo with a coyote-sighting report from a little more than an hour ago – one of two we’ve received this morning, which we’re publishing along with two more from recent days. First, Tom’s note accompanying the photo:

8:40 AM this morning … A young coyote was on our deck on 21st Ave SW near Holly St. He was not afraid, we walked right up to the window with the camera. He wanted to play, tried several times to pick up this blue toy.

A short time earlier, from the Admiral District, Caylyn had a double sighting:

I live on 44th between Hinds and Hanford and just ran outside because I thought I
saw two dogs running down the middle of the street. I brought out my dog treats to see if I could call to them. To my surprise they were very big coyotes. Yellowish brown in color and looked like small German Shepherds. Please, people with children, gardening and walking dogs, be careful in this area.

The other 2 sightings, ahead:

From Brenda, this past Sunday:

Coyote sighting: 10:00 a.m. 27th Ave. SW between Othello and Webster; just west of the wooded ravine behind Home Depot.

And from Lesa last Wednesday:

There was a coyote standing in the middle of a front yard on 37th Avenue SW, just south of Alaska at about 6:50 (Wednesday) morning. He didn’t look startled when we drove by – just stood there and stared. Pretty scary to see him right there in the middle of a block full of homes.

We have published coyote sightings, as they’re received (including the first and only one we have photographed outside WSB HQ!), for more than three years – here’s the archive, newest to oldest. We do this not to fear-monger, but because no matter how common they are, someone is surprised to find out they live among us, and both we and they will be safer if advice on co-existing with coyotes is heeded.

P.S. There’s an active discussion about coyotes in the WSB Forums right now, too.

40 Replies to "West Seattle coyotes: 4 sightings, including 'Wanna play?'"

  • alki guy May 24, 2011 (10:06 am)

    Awesome picture Tom. Even coyotes have personality.

  • ummm May 24, 2011 (10:09 am)

    Alright, that’s it; I’m adopting one. Too frickin’ cute!

  • crystal May 24, 2011 (10:11 am)

    I love this picture, thanks Tom for sharing it!!

  • foy boy May 24, 2011 (10:11 am)

    Seattle Lutheran Saints baseball team and defending 2b state champs are in the final four in the state tournament. Sorry just alittle off topic. Go Saints.

    • WSB May 24, 2011 (10:12 am)

      Foy, I was just checking on their status this morning, since we covered last year’s drive all the way to the triumphant post-championship-game homecoming. Thanks for the update, off-topic or not! – TR

  • Katie May 24, 2011 (10:12 am)

    Saw a pretty big coyote this morning when I was getting in my car to go to work! 62nd Ave SW & Spokane Street off of Beach Drive. Never seen one before, but have always wanted to!

  • Jiggers May 24, 2011 (10:15 am)

    Funny ..this doesn’t taste like a kitty kat.

  • T-Rex May 24, 2011 (10:39 am)

    Be careful people, these are wild animals and they may look cute and playful but their bite would be a bad way to find out the opposite. Not to mention the rabies shots that come afterward.

  • Brad May 24, 2011 (10:39 am)

    If you blog about them, they will be trapped and killed, just like the one in Magnolia. They refuse to relocate them.

    • WSB May 24, 2011 (10:48 am)

      Brad, we’ve been writing about coyotes in West Seattle for almost four years. That hasn’t happened yet. If one of the very rare coyote “attacks” on a human happened here, that certainly could happen, but by educating people about them, and about coexistence, and the fact they are here and they are common and you don’t have to freak out if you learn about coexistence, I would expect that is less likely than it would have been … read about some of those East Coast/Midwest towns where the mere sight of one brings out an armed posse – TR

  • lucky chick May 24, 2011 (10:57 am)

    We should all read the WDFW “Living with Wildlife” document that WSB’s Tracy has posted numerous times (and here it is again: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/coyotes.html). Personally, I think it’s cool that they are around, and I keep my cat indoors where it’s not only safer but healthier for him and wildlife.
    Was wondering on the ride in this morning if we are seeing more of them or just reporting it now. They sure seem ubiquitous in West Seattle these days.

  • Dc May 24, 2011 (10:59 am)

    Oh how cute!!!

  • Tom May 24, 2011 (11:12 am)

    We’ve seen quite a few of them up in the green space around the neighborhood behind the Delridge Home Depot. Initally, the sightings were from afar, however these guys are seemingly not too afraid of people.

    This past Sunday, I went outside to check on my dog who was barking more than usual to find he and a coyote in a bit of a stare down. The coyote took off when I hollered.

    I’m all for sharing space with nature, but when nature gets hungry, unknowing domestic pets become a food source.

    The coyotes are just doing what they do…I don’t see any need to trap or kill them…but those of us with pets do need to keep an eye out.

  • JH May 24, 2011 (11:26 am)

    Good to see they’re still around WS! I was getting worried-I haven’t heard them in Schmitz Park in months!

  • Noelle May 24, 2011 (11:42 am)

    Does the pound ever get these coyotes in? I know it sounds silly, but they look a lot like domesticated dogs to me. I could see someone, not realizing it was wild, taking it in.

  • funkietoo May 24, 2011 (11:56 am)


    And yes, remember they are wild animals, so do not approach.

    And, if you ever want to see my outdoor cat enclosures so your kitties can have safe access to the outdoors, just email me or ask WSB to contact me on your behalf. funkietoo@hotmail.com

  • Christy May 24, 2011 (12:07 pm)

    Why are people so fearful? As long as you don’t grab them, they are not going to bite you. Cats and small dogs might be in danger, but not people.

  • Lyanda May 24, 2011 (12:19 pm)

    I’m sure this mentioned on WSB before, but while coyotes in other parts of North America may carry rabies, the Washington state populations do not. Same is true for squirrels, and other mammals we might worry about; humans bitten by wild mammals here are not routinely treated for rabies. Bats are the only wild mammal population in our area with a small risk for rabies–because cats sometimes find and play with sick/injured bats, they are most at risk.

  • Julie May 24, 2011 (12:23 pm)

    I saw the large brown one at California and Oregon running down the alley. I thought it was a dog!

  • cjboffoli May 24, 2011 (12:39 pm)

    Shouldn’t this image be filed under “Burglary in progress?”

  • pigeonmom May 24, 2011 (12:41 pm)

    cj, lol.
    Love this picture!

  • LAintheJunction May 24, 2011 (1:40 pm)

    I love the fact that we have coyotes in our midst. Yes, they are wild animals and should be given the space and respect for unpredictability that we should have for all wild animals. But I’ve come across them many, many times in Lincoln Park and on my walks through WS neighborhoods and they’re just as content to watch me quietly as I am them. When we have no wildlife in our cities, we’ll be truly dead inside. I’m glad to have these sightings as proof that we’re not.

  • furor scribendi May 24, 2011 (1:57 pm)

    Cute picture, yes, but a note of caution. Any wild predator should be given a wide berth, and it’s better to ere on the side of safety when dealing with coyotes. As with the eastside bears who have lost their fear of humans, coyotes – along with raccoons and opossums – can inflict serious injury on people and pets. Also, local statute prohibits city residents from keeping out feed which would attract these predators, so don’t attempt to feed them in attempts to get close to or photograph them. For instance, a neighbor used to feed a troop of raccoons nightly, and the resultant throng wrought a lot of mayhem including a family moving into my crawlspace (ie carpentry bills, etc). The same damage and loss of pets, etc. can happen with coyotes. Please don’t let your interest in coyotes bring on any of these unintended consequences!

  • velo_nut May 24, 2011 (2:32 pm)

    Thank you for saving me from myself Furor!

  • lucky chick May 24, 2011 (2:38 pm)

    Well said, LA.

  • Dale May 24, 2011 (3:01 pm)

    I also saw one of the coyotes this morning on my bike commute. I was in the 6500 block of 21st Ave SW around 8:45am and the coyote came out to the edge of the street and looked at me. I rode just past it before stopping to look at him (or her). The coyote did not seem too interested in me and just slowly turned and went back into the drive way that it had come from.
    It was a beautiful animal for sure – but super glad that it did not decide to give chase like domesticated dogs often do.

  • Marlon Perkins May 24, 2011 (3:38 pm)

    He looks like a fine animal.

  • MMB May 24, 2011 (8:41 pm)

    Before we realized that there were coyotes in the area, we lost two kitty cats in 2003. Now we don’t let our cats out – our fenced back yard has Invisible Fence to keep ours from climbing out. Have to say that we’re converts to the idea of keeping small pets safe by keeping them inside a stout, 6-foot-tall fence, better yet, indoors. Side effects are fewer vet bills and less dirt in the house. Keep small pets indoors or otherwise protected – coyotes are everywhere.

  • Tanyar23 May 24, 2011 (11:33 pm)

    This is the best picture ever. I love it!!!

  • w.s. maverick May 25, 2011 (5:46 am)

    we should build a coyote park in west seattle

  • sb May 25, 2011 (10:01 am)

    Here’s an example of a spicier West seattle coyote headline, from 1909:


    • WSB May 25, 2011 (10:17 am)

      SB – what was the headline? That site is not coming up for me.

  • 35this35mph May 25, 2011 (10:04 am)

    Pretty sure we built a West Seattle in a coyote park!

  • Me May 25, 2011 (10:44 am)

    I see coyote’s all the time, almost daily! A few days ago I came to Prov. Mt. St. Vincent about 6:45 am and a coyote walked right up to my car! I waited until it left then went right into the building! They are curious creatures … probably doesn’t help that many of them were born right in the area and are used to cars and people!

  • sb May 25, 2011 (11:23 am)

    WSB, that’s odd as it loads for me. What happens when you click on it?

    In any case, it’s a multi-tiered headline, as was popular back then:

    Coyote Pack Chases West Seattle Boy
    Lawrence Beck, Finding Himself Surround in Woods of Suburb by Yelping Band, Takes to His Heels
    He Returns with Gun, But Finds Them Gone
    First Time Animals Voice Melancholy Wail Inside City Limits – Heard Before in Outer Districts

    • WSB May 25, 2011 (11:32 am)

      I got a “could not resolve, fatal error” message. thanks for sharing. There’s nothin’ new under the sun :) – TR

  • ikahana May 25, 2011 (1:02 pm)

    Great photo. I love these critters and consider it an honor to live so close to them. And yes, I know about keeping a distance and respecting their animal ways – I’m not like that Grizzly guy from the movie.

  • Jane May 25, 2011 (1:54 pm)

    I LOVE the photo!! My sonwho lives in WS emailed it to me…I live in the Bronx, New York, coyotes moved into the neighborhood last year…very cool!

  • JB May 26, 2011 (5:47 am)

    Well they are still in the Schmitz Park area. I just saw one this morning (4:30) at 49th & Spokane. He was running north on 49th for 3/4 of the block and then headed east between the houses.

  • el June 1, 2011 (6:53 am)

    These guys were in my front yard yesterday afternoon. My cat was no where to be fount, but no signs of struggle. Thankfully, shortly before dark he came out of hiding and was found on my roof. Hopefully this experience will help me transition this 15 year old man into an indoor cat.

Sorry, comment time is over.