Click the Buzz Me button to receive email notifications when this writer publishes a new article or a new article in this column is published.
FRONT-YARD SURPRISE Emma Chang, a freshman at St. John’s, spotted a wild coyote in her River Oaks yard in the fall.
The recent pandemic and quarantine greatly affected the 3 million people living in Houston. Living inside the Loop, I watched the vibrant bustle of a city, whose denizens are always on the move, morph into quiet streets with little traffic. However, people are not the only creatures that Covid-19 impacted.
Over the years, more than 300 species of wildlife have been spotted wandering around my neighborhood, River Oaks, near Buffalo Bayou. Many times, I have watched coyotes scurry through the streets into wooded areas near the bayou, but most of those sightings required a quick eye. Since coyotes are nocturnal, they tend to avoid humans.
My family and I recently had a memorable, close encounter with a wild coyote. On a typical afternoon this past September, in the middle of the shutdown, I happened to look through the window of our front door and noticed something big and furry lying on our front lawn. At first glance, I thought the animal was a giant dog, but as I got a closer look, this “giant dog” turned out to be a large coyote. It was sitting, front and center in our yard, eating a wild rabbit who had made a home in our backyard.
Unlike my previous coyote sightings, I actually watched this coyote leisurely eating the rabbit for several minutes less than 15 feet away from behind the safety of my front door. Not only did the coyote appear healthy and well-fed, but the coyote also remained unfazed by passing cars and other neighborhood noises.
Maybe the absence of human activity from the Covid-19 lockdown provided this coyote with enough comfort to brazenly hunt and eat a rabbit out in the open, without the worry of human intervention. Seeing a wild coyote in its natural form and doing what it was born to do left me awestruck. This interaction got me thinking about how close we live with the wildness of nature, even in the middle of a large, urban city seemingly closed down by a worldwide pandemic.
Want to be a Buzz Kid? Email approximately 350 words, a high-resolution photo and caption to [email protected]. Or mail it to The Buzz Magazines, 5001 Bissonnet, Suite 100, Bellaire, Texas 77401.