What is wrong with this Coyote picture?

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Baited CoyoteBaited Coyote

That is dog food on a road on Antelope Island State Park. Someone threw it onto the road it didn’t just fall from the sky.

Why is it there?

Maybe someone wanted a picture of the Coyote without anything obstructing the view.

It can’t be that the Coyote needed it because it doesn’t. They are extremely efficient hunters.

Having dog food in the road isn’t safe for the Coyote, it could be killed by a fast moving vehicle. Other animals might be attracted to the dog food and die from an impact.

Feeding wild animals is against the law in some areas and at the very least wild animals who are fed by humans tend to lose their natural fear of humans and that can have drastic consequences for the animal and any human they come in contact with.

Think of how bears used to be fed in some of our State and Federal Parks and remember the attacks and fatalities that happened in correlation to the bears losing their fear of humans. Having lived in Florida where people illegally feed Alligators it became common for me to see how Fido would go missing or get killed because the gators no longer feared humans.

So, what is wrong with this picture? Someone is messing with nature.

We picked up the dog food and threw it off of the road, in hindsight I should have put it into a trash bag and carried it to the trash.


This is the only baited image you are likely to see on my blog.

From the Humane Society: To Feed or Not to Feed Wildlife


  1. Fern Culhane December 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

    am sure the state park rangers appreciated your actions too. They are probably stretched with many duties in their days. We can all be advocates for wildlife when we know what to do. Thanks for helping us learn!

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:58 am

      Fern, the park ranger was very interested in finding out about the dog food on the road and appreciated the heads up. That road gets traveled a lot by the rangers and now they will be on the look out for dog food on it. Thank you so much for your comment.

  2. LaNelle December 17, 2012 at 4:47 am

    Thank you for taking the time to be a great person by removing the food it could have been a very bad situation ! Your photography’s are beautiful and warm my heart to see their natural beauty keep up the awesome work.

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Thank you LaNelle, I felt the food had to be removed from the road so the Coyote wouldn’t get hit by a speeding car. Thank you also for your very kind words on my photography. Nature inspires me!

  3. Tammy Karr December 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Yikes! What a dangerous set up for the animals. It is sad when people feed the animals, especially, like you mentioned the alligators, and then the alligator gets euthanized…

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:55 am

      Tammy, euthanized is such a kind term compared to the alligators being killed because humans messed with nature. It is a dangerous set up for the animals and possibly humans. Thanks for your comment.

  4. Darlene December 16, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    I would have removed the food, too. A long time ago at one of our local lakes, people used to feed the coyotes thinking that they wouldn’t go after the other animals and pets in the area if they did that. At that lake, there was another area where a large number of domestic geese hung out waiting for their favorite human to come feed them. The coyotes usually are very cautious about hanging out there because there are so many humans around that area all day and pretty much most of the night. During that time that the coyotes were being fed, several domestic geese in that area were killed and eaten by them. These were geese that lived there for years with few losses and in just a few days, several were gone, pieces of them strewn all over the place. I think a swan and a few ducks were killed, too, within a short time period. When they stopped feeding the coyotes, losses went back to normal in that area, usually a couple or few ducks during the winter months.

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:54 am

      Darlene, thanks for sharing your story about what can happen when wild Coyotes are fed by humans. I’m very glad people stopped feeding the Coyotes there because it has probably saved their lives, the lives of the other animals in the area and could possibly have prevented a dangerous confrontation between the Coyotes and humans.

  5. Earl December 16, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Hello Mia,
    People don’t understand that you don’t mess with Mother Nature without consequences.

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Hi Earl, we saw this not long after we talked to you on the road to Garr Ranch, it might have been a quarter of a mile to the gate. I really hope the rangers catch the person and tell them exactly why feeding wild animals is wrong.

  6. M. Firpi December 16, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    This is an example of how humans feel they “have to have a hand in” something. Humans feel they “have to have a hand” in our environment, in our streets, parks, etc. Since humans “have to build” for “humans” e.g. streets, boats, buildings, cars, airplanes, etc., they no longer discriminate between “human” paraphernalia, and the real environment out there. Can we coexist?

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Maria, I hope all of us learn to coexist with nature but I won’t hold my breath about it.

  7. Susan December 16, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I lived up in Northern Ontario for a few years, people often got hurt because the wildlife was unafraid, mainly because people were careless with food waste but the principle is the same, you feed the wildlife, it becomes unafraid, a person is hurt and the animal is destroyed as a result. In this case the instrument of destruction could be a car. So careless and foolish

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Yes Susan, when people stop feeding wildlife and getting wild animals habituated to people the incidents do drop in numbers. This was silly and selfish of the person who did this and it risked the Coyotes life.

  8. Sherry in MT December 16, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    It is sad that someone did it on purpose or not.

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Thanks Sherry, I’m 99.9% certain this was done on purpose, I mean how often does dog food fall out of a car in a location like Antelope Island State Park? Maybe near a campground but not miles & miles from one.

  9. judy watson December 16, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Oh wow. Dog food!
    I have never seen such a thing and never heard of this.
    Yes, there are some fast moving cars on the island!
    This is crazy.

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:47 am

      Yes, it is crazy Judy. No one has to do baiting to get an image of a Coyote on Antelope Island. Just be out there like you and I are and soon enough you’ll get the image you want. I hope the rangers catch this person.

  10. Syl Lobato December 16, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    people only think of gratifying themselves..to sad…even the animals suffer anymore.

    • Mia McPherson December 18, 2012 at 9:46 am

      Yes, long term consequences do seem to fly out the window for people who will “do anything to get the shot” even if that means putting their subject in danger.

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