To the editor:
Although Sharon Shea of Salem feels that coyotes are a threat to her and her small dogs (”Coyote attacks dog walking with owner,” April 30), humans with dogs are a threat to the coyote in the territory where dens and pups are this time of year. The male coyote leaves the den, mother and pups to find food for his family. He, naturally, will be protective. Sharon and her dogs must have been close to the den. I saw a program about coyotes a while ago, and on it, they told a story about a policeman who got too close to a den. He shot the male, not knowing that he was out hunting for food; thus, this coyote’s family probably starved. Common denning areas are power lines, old railroad beds, and the peripheries of cemeteries and parks. A very sensible coexistence strategy is to leash dogs. This prevents dogs from going after coyotes and their young and also prevents male coyotes from responding and attacking back.
If the public keep these simple facts in mind, we can live safely with the wildlife in our midst.