During my almost 50 years in Lakewood, I have always enjoyed peacefully coexisting with wildlife such as raccoons, bald eagles, squirrels, blue heron, deer, coyote, rabbits, wolves, ducks, and a wide variety of other birds.
Historically the wildlife has not bothered me and I have not bothered the wildlife.
In order to maintain peaceful coexistence with wildlife, it is recommended that man not feed wildlife, leave dog or cat food outside or allow wild animals to feed off garbage cans.
Sadly peaceful coexistence seems to be coming to an end. The wildlife population appears to be exploding. People are illegally feeding wildlife and development is shrinking the size of the animals’ habitat. Animals that are normally nocturnal are now frequently spotted in the daytime. Nocturnal animals are becoming more daring and less afraid of people. When wildlife fits that description, they can become aggressive towards humans and pets.
I have included a series of photos of a coyote I spotted near Clover Creek in Lakewood. After hiding in the tall vegetation and looking over his territory, the coyote moved across a residential yard inside a community loaded with kids, pets and outdoor gardeners.
Fox News and KOMO News reported a pack of coyotes attacked a man and his dog. Coyotes will eat almost anything. The man attacked by the coyote pack had to have 26 rabies shots after suffering wounds to his hand, arm and leg.
If you choose to ignore wildlife management’s warning to not feed wildlife, know that you may be the indirect cause of injury and death in your neighborhood when a raccoon or coyote attacks. The enjoyment citizens derive from making their yard a wildlife sanctuary will be erased with just one dead child. Believe me, one funeral will take all the fun out of feeding wildlife. While many might consider my comment extreme, I do not after having participated in injury and death investigations when bad judgment and bad luck came together to deliver injury and death.
In support of the wildlife warning I just shared with you, I offer you the opportunity to check out this March 11, 2016, article in The Wall Street Journal describing injury and death by coyotes.