There very well may be two drunk coyotes walking around Ballard today.
Heather, a member of the My Ballard Facebook Group, wrote the following message to neighbors:
“My Canadian guests left me with several half-full growlers of local craft beers which I used around the yard to make slug/snail traps. The first morning after putting them out I saw they were all empty and refilled them. This morning I looked out the window to find two coyotes going from one beer dish to the next…. so we may have some drunk coyotes staggering about.”
Chris Anderson, King County’s District Wildlife Biologist, says that while it’s the first time he’s heard of a drunk coyote, it doesn’t surprise him too much.
“Dogs can get drunk, so yes, coyotes can also get drunk,” Anderson said, adding that it’s unlikely to really harm them, but could cause different behavior. “An intoxicated animal has the propensity to be less averse to humans, and let their guard down, ” he said, adding that it could potentially cause them to be more aggressive.
“Coyotes will eat anything they can get their mitts on,” he said, and stressed the importance of deterring coyotes as much as possible.
Coyotes will always be around, he said, but the important thing is to keep them from becoming habituated. “Exclude, exclude, exclude — even haze them. When you see them, encourage them to keep going. Throw something at them. If you have a noise-maker, use it. Studies show that that effort and education is the ultimate answer to manage them.”
For more information on how to interact with coyotes in residential areas, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Living with Wildlife website about coyotes.