Monday, April 22, 2013

It's a Zoo

Now that we are consistently in warmer temperatures, all the critters are coming out, so it is time for me to get into the habit of carrying a camera with me each time I step outside.  I learned my lesson yesterday afternoon.  While cleaning the paddock I noticed a bunny lying on it's side, all stretched out like a centerfold in the shade of the horse trailer.  I wasn't willing to stop my chores to run into the house to get a camera, but figured I'd do it if the bunny was still there when I finished.  I had been shoveling manure within 20-feet of it, and it didn't budge, so I thought there was a good chance it wouldn't move.

However, just as I was finishing up, I saw the bunny stand up.  The next time I looked over, it was gone.  I began pulling my wagon toward the manure pile and saw movement behind a tree.  I thought, "If that is a bunny, it's the biggest one I've seen yet."

I came around the tree and saw that it was the coyote with the broken ear.  He was lying in the fresh grass my husband planted on the manure pile to encourage the biology to get moving and help compost the pile.  The coyote, who I've since named Yodi, stood up when I approached, ate some grass like dogs do when they have an upset tummy, and then he moved off the manure pile and walked around the opposite side as I pulled the wagon to my dumping point.

He then trotted over to the dog bowl filled with water that I leave out for the bunnies so that they won't bite through our drip system, and lapped up some water.  As I approached him pulling my wagon after dumping it, he wandered slowly up the driveway, stopping every few feet to look back at me.  I usually chase off coyotes, because I don't want them eating the bunnies and getting my dogs all riled up, but this coyote is so pathetic.  He's painfully thin, staggers like he has a spinal injury, and has a broken ear.  I suspect someone's dog attacked him or he got caught in a tight spot.

I think he spends so much time at my place and around my horses, even when I ride them on the trails, because he feels safe with us.  He's definitely not intimidated by me.  Most coyotes run away as soon as they see me or as soon as I speak to them.  This guy just seems to have bigger problems than people.  He's probably starving since he can't move very fast, and he knows that a bunch of baby bunnies like to graze on the grass on the manure pile in the evenings, so he was laying in wait for them.  The bunnies are smart enough to see him coming and lay low in the brush.

Of course, once I saw the coyote, I really wished I had my camera.  I was able to get the camera when my husband found an Western Banded Gecko on our porch, though.

We have also had a Cardinal flitting around our yard.  I tried to get a picture of it last year, but it always seemed to know when I had my camera, and it went into hiding.  Hopefully, I'll have better luck this year.


achieve1dream said...

I had that same problem with Cardinals lol.

I feel sorry for that poor coyote, but the staggering worries me... you don't think he has some sort of neurological disease do you? Your dogs are vaccinated though so maybe it doesn't even matter. I guess I'm a bit paranoid.

That Gecko is so cool!!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I'm sure you are going to get bombarded with these type of comments, but...

That coyote does not sound healthy and personally, I would call Game, Fish and Parks to come remove him. You sure wouldn't want to take a chance of him having rabies or any other disease that might infect or endanger you or your pets.

I know there used to be several wildlife rehabilitation places in the Phx area...and from the sounds of it, that poor coyote either needs help or needs to be put out of his misery.

Katharine Swan said...

I'll be the dissenting voice! The coyote actually doesn't sound sick to me, he sounds like he got hit by a car or something like that. And he doesn't sound like he needs to be "put out of his misery" because he doesn't sound miserable. I wonder if he acts the way he does because he's been acclimated to people somehow. Perhaps he was even fed by humans when he was young and didn't learn to properly take care of himself in the wild.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

A zoo is right! lol!

Sure makes your days more interesting, eh?