Despite the close relation between domesticated dogs and coyotes, there is a stark difference in the way that humans treat individuals of each species. While the former are beloved members of many human families, the latter are much maligned and vilified. Lesley Sampson of Coyote Watch Canada hopes that we can rethink the way we see the coyotes that live around us. Coyotes should not be seen as pests or evil, but as wild animals who are doing their best to survive while humans encroach further on their habitat. She recommends that we embrace the ways that coyotes can be a source of ecological, spiritual, and social well-being.
Lesley details some of the many threats that coyotes face in Canada. One of the most egregious examples are the coyote killing contests that take place in Alberta where these animals are shot, trapped, and poisoned. The current system for managing conflicts between humans and coyotes is primarily composed of killing them, but clearly, this is not a viable solution. Hunting devastates ecosystems and tears apart families. A better solution would be for compassionate conservation, which recognizes and accommodates for the inherent value of each individual as more than just a resource, but a life that deserves to live. Coyotes are also subjected to torturous pain through trapping by industries, such as those who make coyote fur trim on coats. It begs the question: “if we wouldn’t subject our dog companions to this pain, why are we permitting companies to do it to their wild coyote counterparts?”
You can learn more about Lesley’s work at coyotewatchcanada.com
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