I want a coyote pup. Do you have any advice?

This Spring, I recieved emails along the lines of “I want a coyote pup,” or “I found a litter of coyote pups and brought one home,” or “my husband shot a coyote, found her den, and we brought home all seven pups and we’re going to raise them and some of my neighbors want some too,” all ending in “do you have any advice?”

Charlie has changed my life in incredible ways; he has brought me joy and wonder and wisdom and has provided me with lessons I probably would not have learned any other way. However, it is not all peaches and roses.

Raising Charlie and giving him a high quality of life while keeping him safe and protected, and also keeping my neighbors and their animals safe and protected from him, has been expensive and time consuming – more expensive and time consuming than one would ever imagine. Luckily, I have an extremely low standard of living. I don’t mind driving a beater truck; I don’t mind living in a tiny, rustic cabin with really low rent. Luckily, I live adjacent to hundreds of acres of BLM (untouched public land) where I can walk Charlie for hours and never cross a road, never pass another house, never encounter another person. Luckily, I am able to make a living from home, which has allowed me to stay close to Charlie and attend to him throughout the day and go on hikes with him, work with him, or play with him all throughout the day.

From everything I have read and everyone I have talked with, coyotes generally do not accept more than one or two people. Charlie has never accepted anyone but MC and I. This means visitors must be dealt with accordingly to keep dangerous situations from even having the chance of occuring and to minimize stress on Charlie. It also means that I can’t bring him with me if I were to visit friends or family, and I can’t leave him with a pet-sitter and go on vacation. I am lucky that MC can watch Charlie if I should need to go out of town. But, I have not left my town in the past year that I have had Charlie.

I did not raise Charlie because I thought it would be “way cool” to have a pet coyote; I did it as the only recourse against a young death. MC’s presence and his lifetime of experience with coyotes and other wild animals has been absolutely essential, and, as “cute” as this sounds, I am dead serious when I say I could not have succeeded without Eli.

Charlie was – and is – a divine gift to me and he is a gift to the world. Would I make the same decision if I had it to do over again? Absolutely. Will I ever raise another coyote? No way.