Nope, not a coyote. A Kananascoyote.

Although they might be genetically similar to the coyote’s we have here on the prairies (or the forestry), a coyote that’s grown up and lives in the park system is most certainly a different animal than the type I see most often.

You see, a prairie coyote has grown up witnessing its brothers and sisters all being shot and killed by humans, so to even be able to grow into an adult, has to very early on associate humans with death and develop a strong fear of us. Needless to say, I don’t usually even try photographing coyotes around here because as soon as it knows you know it’s there, it will be gone.

I was pretty thrilled to have spotted this guy deep in the Alberta Parks system (south end of the Smith Dorrien) and even more thrilled when it didn’t just run away as soon as we got close. Never been 10′ away from a coyote before so obviously had a few thoughts go through my head when I noticed it wasn’t scared of us.

First thought was rabies, but it didn’t seem disoriented or agitated, nothing out of the ordinary except for lack of fear (which is a sign of rabies) and second though was it had been fed by people before, so associated us with food. I dismissed that idea after a while because it wasn’t actually interested in us at all. I don’t think it looked at me once the whole time, just kept casually walking down the road sniffing it’s grass seeds.

Let’s hope this beautiful creature never wanders out of the protection of our park system, because it wont have a chance.


Lance Edwards-Hampton


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