Some people, maybe even the majority of humans think of wild animals as either our enemies or animals that are out there just surviving. But have you ever considered that wild animals have some of the same emotions as pet dogs and cats? One photographer named, Pamela Underhill Karaz has captured some amazing footage of a wild animal acting much like our beloved domesticated animals.
Karaz lives in Trenton Falls, New York surrounded by 48 acres of wildland composed of forests and fields. With that kind of terrain and space, wild animals are bound to live there. One day she saw an amazing sight. A coyote was in her backyard. But the coyote wasn’t just passing through, nor trying to hurt anything. This coyote was doing what many dogs and cats do. It was playing.
At first the male coyote checked out and smelled the dog tracks from Karaz’s pet. Then it approached a blued stuffed animal toy. But instead of just smelling the toy, the coyote picked it up and began to play with it. Just like any dog, this coyote started to throw the toy in the air. He was clearly having a grand ole time. The play lasted for 5 to 10 minutes before he trotted off.
As Karaz watched the coyote enjoy playing with the toy, something occurred to her. It had been a mystery as to where the missing toys go that her dog leaves out. She now speculates that the coyote may be coming by to steal some toys to play with.
This is such a sweet reminder, that all animals have feelings and needs much like humans and our pets. Many are social animals. They can get scared, experience sadness, worry, happiness and in this case, they can display playfulness.
A coyote is a member of the dog family. Coyotes are related to fox and wolves. They have pointed ears, a narrow muzzle and a bushy tail that slants towards the ground. Their build is much like a German Shepherd dog but much smaller. Adults weigh between 25 to 35 pounds. Some large coyotes may reach 42 pounds.
Coyotes are scavengers which means they are opportunists that will eat what is available. Though many people think they primarily eat people’s pets, nothing could be further from the truth. The primary diet of a coyote consists of small rodents, fruit, and rabbits. They are capable of hunting and eating larger prey but it is not common.
“This was such a wonderful reminder that all animals, the wild and the not so wild (our pets) are really not so different.” She continued, “They have personalities, they have feelings, and they do their best to survive in what is sometimes a very unfriendly world. They are not so very different than us.”