Do Coyotes Feel Love?

Love is complicated, but that’s nothing new! Our connection to the animal kingdom comes in many forms, and one of the ways we feel close to other species is comparing their habits and behaviors to ours. We don’t have the ability to read a coyote’s mind or ask it directly if it is capable of feeling love, but what we do have are a series of facts that fit together like a little heart-shaped puzzle.

Coyotes mate for life. That’s no simple task, as we humans know! Courtship begins in a very familiar way; the male usually pursues the female, who normally tolerates him as long as he keeps his distance at first and keeps his paws to himself. After spending more time together the pair will eventually start to groom each other and hunt together, sticking with each other for months before finally mating in the spring.

Extensive genetic studies have revealed that coyotes very rarely, if ever, “cheat” on their partners. A recent study confirmed 100% monogamy among urban coyotes, which is astounding — only 3-5% of mammals mate for life!

It’s incredible that a pair of wild animals could find each other, bond, and successfully raise litter after litter of pups together for the rest of their days. That’s why lethal control of coyotes and coyote killing contests are so unnecessarily cruel; coyote packs are families in the truest sense. How would you feel if the only other adult of your kind that you interacted with was suddenly killed? Keep coyotes alive for their partners and their families!

Aaron Huelsman

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