Coyotes reported chasing skiers in Northern Idaho

Coyote Photo credit: John Thomas & Unsplash

Coyotes in and around Sandpoint, Idaho, a city in the northern part of the panhandle, are acting abnormally.

In early January, Idaho Fish and Game received multiple reports of coyotes chasing skiers. One coyote bit a skier — a highly unusual action for a coyote, according to Fish and Game. The skier received minor injuries.

In late January, Fish and Game received reports of two coyotes roaming the streets during daylight hours, comfortable in human presence.

Fish and Game intend to locate and dispatch all of the involved animals in the interest of human safety. It has already captured and dispatched one coyote from the latter incident. Fish and Game has retained the body of the dispatched animal for future testing, if necessary.

According to a press release from Fish and Game, it is unusual for land mammals in Idaho to carry rabies, so it is unlikely that that is the cause of the abnormal behavior in these coyotes. Fish and Game cites habituation to human presence as the most probable cause for this behavior.

Habituation to human presence is most often the result of humans feeding wild animals. The animals come to expect that humans will give them food and when humans don’t have food the animals become aggressive.

Fish and Game reminds the public to never feed, touch or harass wild animals.