The following was a comment (not necessarily as long-winded as I can usually be, but certainly verbose as comments go) that I added this morning to a post at The Eastsider LA Blog about a lone representative of the species spotted and photographed at an area little league field, submitted after reading one commenter who openly expressed a blanket fear of them. I liked it so much I decided to post it here.

Certainly motivated city-dwelling coyotes can be intimidating, but the best way to counter an elevated fear of them is with knowledge. These are dynamic creatures who in their natural range are far more fearful of us than we need to be of them.

With urbanized coyotes it’s important to bear in mind that they’ve become so habituated within such densely populated environments as ours because they are so adaptable and infinitely opportunistic. But rather than fear them (or concurrently just dismissively accept them) you should be afraid and hold accountable those of us humans who provide them with an excess of opportunities to exploit. Be it access to unsecured garbage containers; pets allowed to roam free (especially at night) or off-leash in parkland; pet food and water sources left in breachable yards after dark; or people who directly offer them food (the worst if well-meaning culprit), there are too many reasons for coyotes to walk among us.

I have had a variety of close encounters with coyotes going back to my early teens (which would be sometime between the demise of the dinosaurs and the dawn of the internet). And what I know is this indefatigable and amazing species plays an important role in our ecology and deserves both our respect and our diligence.