Monday, August 23, 2010

Coyotes in North Carolina

Originally uploaded by Mangrove Mike
Coyotes are now established in every county in North Carolina, as well as Virginia and Tennessee. They have been known to prey on household pets and smaller livestock like sheep and goats.
A friend of ours has a small farm along the banks of the Yadkin River in North Carolina, where he maintains a herd of up to 200 Angus cattle. One day his son, who lives nearby, showed up towing a trailer with the latest local fad in anti-coyote devices, a donkey.
"It'd be a shame if you lost a calf to the coyotes, Dad," he said. "Put this donkey right in with the cows. No coyote will dare come into that pasture--they know they'll get stomped."
Our friend had his doubts, but thought, "Well, what harm can it do? No point in looking a gift donkey in the mouth, so to speak."
He put the donkey in with the cows and went about his business.
After a while, he forgot it was there, even when the phone rang a couple of weeks later. It was one of the neighbors, asking if anyone had seen his dog. It was missing. "No, haven't seen him around here, but I'll sure keep my eyes open for him," said Harry. Nope, no dog around here.
A couple of days later he was driving his tractor through the pasture and saw something unusual off to one side. He drove over by it. Sure enough it was a medium sized brown dog, or what was left of it. It had been stomped flat.
Harry decided that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to have that donkey in the pasture. His son was a little disappointed when he called him and told him to bring the trailer back and pick up the donkey. It took him a few days to get around to it, and they say Harry found at least one more trampled canine before his kid got that donkey out of there. OK, maybe that one was a coyote--it was stomped so hard that you couldn't tell for sure. In any event no one called about it.
Moral: Apparently donkeys are good protection against coyotes. But it would be a good idea to keep your dog out of the field at the same time.


Harry visited this weekend and put a different spin on things.
"A lot of little dogs that belonged to the people around the farm went missing last year. 'Cause I said something about them getting after the calves, some of them thought that I had something to do with it somehow.
Later on we found a coyote burrow, and I swear there were 8 to 10 little collars outside it. Those coyotes will go after anything, a calf, a little dog, a skunk even.
That's what got all those dogs. It wasn't my donkey."

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