Mailbag: Coyote attacks02 Jun 2010
Sorry to interrupt the 'all Anthropoid all the time' theme going on lately but I want to get back to a subject we've discussed before (well kind of). Coyotes have a record in recent years of attacking and even killing people. Why do we see so few reports of wolves attacking and killing people? Seemingly it would be much easier for them. The 'yotes that killed the girl in Canada went after a full sized adult. Perhaps a pack of wolves would leave less evidence?
I think first you have to correct for the fact that coyotes are around people a lot more. People who have gone places where they are likely to encounter wolves tend to be better prepared outdoorsmen, able to deal with bears.
But maybe in addition to that, there’s a pack hunting advantage. Coyotes hunt independently or in small groups and are apt to be both hungrier and more limited in range due to conflicts with neighbors. Wolves get their risk spread among more group members and maintain larger home ranges.
I think leopards are also more dangerous to people than lions, may be the same reason.