In Colorado, coyotes often send a female up close to a house to draw out domestic dogs. When the dog follows the female into the woods, the pack will attack and kill the dog. On the night before we left for Atlanta, we put Smokey out just before dark. He took of barking, and down the hill he went, after a coyote.
Knowing their tricks, I yelled myself hoarse trying to get him to turn around. Finally, just before he got to the lower meadow, 500 feet below the house, he turned back, and got home safely. The experience got me thinking about Wild Dogs we've seen. They are mostly pack hunters, often taking prey much bigger than themselves. Necropsies on wolves that have died in Yellowstone shows an average of 21 fractures, mostly from being kicked by elk. It's a hard life in the pack. So, I put this set together showing coyotes and red foxes in Colorado, wolves in Yellowstone, jackals and hyenas in Kenya and Tanzania. Enjoy
As we drove up into Yellowstone from Gardiner, we looked down to the Gardner river, and thought we had spotted a wolf. Hopped out and took these photos and realized we were just looking at a coyote
Beautiful catch with him perched on two rocks
Just across our fence, he was scavanging for a winter meal
When the wolves were reintroduced into the Yellowstone ecosystem, there were between 16,000-20,000 Elk in the park. Now there are 6000, and the wolf population has dropped from 175 to 100 in the park.
Blacktail Plateau pack in Yellowstone
They can hunker down in -40 degree weather. The wolf population peaked in 2007 at 175 wolves in the park.
From this vantage point, he could see Elk down in two valleys. While we could feel the wind cut right through us, he did not seem to mind.
Hyenas have incredible jaw strength. They crunch up bones and eat them. They finish what the other predators cannot eat.
A pride of Lions had taken a Wildebeast in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. After the adults had wandered off, and the cubs had finished the scraps, the Hyenas came and took the ribcage and other bones to finish off.
He picked up the ribcage and ran off