According to the Huffington post, the upstate New York suburb of Rye is experiencing a problem with coyotes getting too close for comfort.
Two young girls in Rye have been attacked by coyotes in the past month, and police have been given permission to shoot coyotes on sight — and also kill coyotes who have been trapped. Authorities are urging parents to keep their children indoors in the evenings and to keep an extra close eye on kids they allow to play outside.
The most feasible explanation is simply that the coyotes have become so used to being around humans, scrounging for food and not being shot at, that they are no longer afraid of people. As a result, they have become more and more brazen, exhibiting behaviors such as attacking children.
But the natural human pattern is to continuously expand our territory. We constantly turn wild areas into rural human areas, and then into suburban human areas, and finally into urban human areas. We as a species spread over every inch of the planet and there comes a time when wildlife can’t retreat anymore and animals start to encroach back. We see this with many different species, as we try to claim more and more wild areas — humans clash with bears, wolves, and all other manner of animals. We think of ourselves as the superior species on the planet and we expect that the land exists for us to live on and every other species better make way for our arrival.
Obviously I’m not at all happy to see children attacked by coyotes, but humans need to stop acting like we are the only species on the planet. These kinds of attacks are symptoms of a larger problem: we can’t seem to check our own expansion voluntarily. I can’t back the vilification of coyotes when human beings are destroying and paving more and more animal habitats by the day. We are not innocent here.
Wild animals are wild animals, and you can neither blame them nor vilify them for doing what wild animals do. Humans have been on the offensive for a long time in the battle for territory. Once in a while an animal is going to bite back.
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