17 February 2013

Meet the new guy in town

Thursday evening was Valentines Day and hubby and I celebrated with an exchange of cards, a box of chocolates, Chinese food from Wok Box and a viewing of a fascinating segment of Nature of Things.  

There's a new hybrid in town.  Meet the Coywolf.

A cross between an Eastern Coyote and a wolf, the Coywolf is a new* species which seems right at home strolling the streets in our cities.  

Normally, wolves will kill coyotes but these coyotes are a larger species than their western counterparts and they are mating with wolves.  Actually, the coywolf isn't such a new hybrid as scientists believe they have been in existence for at least 100 years.  It's the last few years though that have brought them to our attention as they are making their way into our cities, bringing attention to their existence and heightening the curiosity of scientists.

cbc.ca - linked file image
They survive in the wild, mistaken for wolves due to their size but their heritage is now known.  They are a beautiful animal with a smaller head than that of the wolf but a larger body than a coyote and bushy tail like a wolf.  They are cunning and unafraid, eating rats (that could only be construed as a good thing, right), garbage and Canadian geese.  

Nature of Things' David Suzuki narrates the program, showing how young coywolf pups are tagged and monitored.    In the footage aired Thursday evening, a young coywolf was videoed standing on someone's doorstep! They pad along, down the streets, follow a jogger, stand outside a chainlink fence...watching.  Their very existence in the city, even New York as well as Eastern Canada, is rather unnerving and yet a bit of a miracle.  They are beautiful, yes.  But remember they are wild and unpredictable, and becoming more common as newspapers such as The Huffington Post, Halifax news.net, Cape Breton Post; to name a few, are reporting sightings.

Curious?  Here's a link to watch the video yourself:

What made me think to write about this this morning?  As I was looking out the windows, front and back, this morning, I saw many little paw prints.  They were likely rabbits (I haven't been outside to further investigate) but those paw prints reminded me of the program.  How coywolves are often unseen, just under the radar, leaving little/large paw prints behind.  Could they be in your neighbourhood?

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