Seattlekit writes: this coyote has been seen in a 1-mile radius around the zoo for about 2 months now, mostly to the east and south (Wallingford). So I’d like to offer the official name for this male coyote of “Wally Coyote”, as a take-off on Wile E. Coyote of Roadrunner cartoon fame. You in?
Yes, Kit, I think we are!
If you don’t often peruse our forums, readers have been posting recently about a rash of coyote sightings in the neighborhood. This is not a particularly rare event for us. In fact, going back through Wallyhood stories, I see that we’ve written an article just about every year (see our 2017 post and our 2015 post and our 2014 post). Curiously, it’s always at this time, too. Late fall.
If you’re determined to get out there and see him, the hotspot appears to be Bagley Ave. between about 40th and 45th, but he (or perhaps, she, or perhaps, they) has been seen as far west as Woodland and Midvale. And you don’t have to prowl around in the pre-dawn hours with your night vision goggles on, either. Wally Coyote has been spotted as late as 8 and 9 am.
One of our most ardent observers appears to be Seattlekit who posts:
Just saw the coyote near 47th & Midvale. Very healthy (good weight, thick lustrous full coat, not lame, bright eyes, etc.) running fast because crows were chasing and harassing it. Since this is very close to the zoo, I called them to see if they’re missing a coyote. They are not. But they were very grateful for the report, since this particular coyote has been seen in the area for a couple of months now. The zoo guy said to ask that folks call the zoo and report any sighting of this coyote, as the zoo has people who are “keeping an eye on this guy” by driving out to sighting areas and trying to spot him (they think it’s a male). Not sure to what end…new coyote exhibit at the zoo? Tasked by the Dept of Wildlife to determine if he’s a lone animal or has a family? Seeing if he’s tagged? Determining if he needs to be relocated? My theory is that he’s been happily dining on those handy rabbits at the Woodland Park Bunny Hills, keeping himself healthy this fall. So, here’s the take-away:
If you spot the coyote, please call the Woodland Park Zoo at 206-548-2500, option “0”.
Keep small pets indoors, escort them when outdoors, keep gates locked, keep garbage cans secured from being tipped over and rummaged through by this coyote, keep your eyes open! Exciting wildlife in the ‘hood!
Here’s a handy link to advice on “What to Do If You See a Coyote”. The website also has other info in the tabs at the top. It’s headquartered in New Hampshire, but the advice is sound for any urban or suburban area.
I’m retired, but used to work as an Animal Keeper at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, and I can tell you, this animal is in prime healthy condition. After some thought, I’ve refined my theory on why the Woodland Park Zoo is involved. I surmise that they’ve been asked by Seattle Animal Control and by Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife to handle this coyote situation. The zoo is close to the sighting areas, has animal expertise, and has the resources to handle public phone calls specific to this animal in the urban environment. I further theorize that the zoo sends a team out to confirm sightings in order to specifically determine if this is multiple sightings of just one animal, or if these are single sightings of multiple animals. If the latter, then winter will put pressure on the coyote pack’s food sources, and we can expect an increase in sightings, encounters, and conflict with people (trash cans, small pets, etc.) But the zoo person explained that “we’re pretty sure” it’s just the one lone coyote. So…give the zoo a call if you see Wally Coyote on your street: 206-548-2500, option “0”.
I’ve contacted the zoo to try to clarify some of these points. If I hear back, I’ll post an update. In the meantime, if you have other photos of Wally, please send them to [email protected], and I’ll include them in the update.