Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Coyote or Fox?

So I was talking on my cell phone while walking along the Confederation Trail about 2 weeks ago. As I was walking and talking, I heard this strange sound which sounded like a high pitched bark or yelp. The first few times I heard it I didn't fully hear it since I was in full conversation and just thought it was a bird in the trees or something like that and paid no interest. The sound became a bit louder and more frequent and I started to zone in on it a bit more. I stopped walking and turned to my left to see where this yelp was coming from. There in the woods, about 30 feet away, looking straight at me was a small/medium sized animal that I immediately assumed to be a dark coloured fox.

I said to Chris who was on the line with me, "There's a fox looking at me!" I kept walking along and as I walked, the "fox" walked beside me, continuing to yelp as it followed along. It didn't get any closer to me but definitely was stalking alongside me as I quickly walked to catch the bus. I stopped again and took a better look at the animal and said, "No wait. It's way too dark to be a fox. Is it possible for a raccoon to be that big and follow me in broad daylight? Do they yelp like that? No, it's gotta be a fox."  The animal shadowed me for about 5-7 minutes until I reached the mall and hopped off the trail to the mall to catch the bus.

After that day I didn't think of my strange fox occurrence again until a couple days ago when I was driving home from work and heard on the local news that there were concerns from Charlottetown residences about coyote sightings within the city. This got me thinking. Could that have been a coyote following me that day? So today I did some research on the possibility of this, found this article about coyotes in Charlottetown which makes me think that if this was a coyote trailing me that day, then people need to stop worrying about their pets and start thinking about their kids, especially if this animal was ballsy enough to follow a full-grown person for such a considerable distance and time. But, the article says that no "official sightings" have been declared so I tapped into my mad research skills and found this website called (which is amazing if you have time to check it out and play for hours) and found examples of sounds of both the fox and  the coyote.

After listening to many examples of both animals, I officially declare (with 96.2% certainty) that the animal that day was a fox and not a coyote. The #8 call on the fox sounds was definitely what I was hearing that day. I have just never heard of a coyote stalking a person like that just seemed to strange. Coyotes definitely are known to stalk their prey and be very persistent and patient to get their meal. Just ask my dad! Long story. Foxes are generally more docile creatures and it is not as though they hibernate so seeing one in the winter is not an usual happening.

I guess my point for writing this post is to tell you that, #1) is awesome, and #2) if you live in Charlottetown, take note that I am still 4.8% unsure that the animal was indeed a fox and not a coyote so please be careful and lock up your pets and children for their own safety. It's cold and winter and these animals may be a bit hungry. Better safe than sorry.

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