Protect the coyote while it rears its pups

To the Editor:
It’s March; the robins are staking out their nesting territory and the coyotes are having pups.

The coyotes choose dens, not infrequently, old enlarged woodchuck dens. Both the male and female take care of the newborn pups.

The pups are totally dependent on mother’s milk at least for the first few weeks of life, so both parents are essential to their survival. The pups grow quickly on the food brought by the parents but take until fall to reach a size when they can be independent and acquire food on their own. Generally, the pups are moved to several den sites in the course of the summer.

The coyote is a cousin and very closely related to our pet dogs. They are highly intelligent, excellent parents, and sensitive to the needs of their young.

They should not have an open hunting or trapping season during this time. It is inhumane to kill coyotes in the spring and summer. In those rare cases where coyote predation is on farm animals, special permits could be given to farmers to kill a few coyotes.

The coyote is a very similar animal to our pet dogs and that has its sensitivities; they are good parents that should have protection during the time they are raising their pups.

It is time we save the coyote and hone in on its importance in ecology and the balance of nature. We no longer should tolerate the killing of wildlife that leads to unnecessary inhumanness to the species and that is exactly what happens when you have an open hunting season to coyotes during their denning season.

Long may the New York summer nights have the characteristic mournful yet beautiful sounds of adult coyotes punctuated by enthusiastic though unskilled voices of juvenile coyotes.

Dr. Ward Stone


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