Officials trying to catch ill coyote spotted in Volunteer Park — UPDATE: Pictures

It’s been a few years since we’ve heard and seen so many reports of coyotes in the neighborhood. They’re an incredible part of the city’s wildlife. But one spotted again Wednesday morning in Volunteer Park appears to be sick — and agressive. Here’s a note we just received from Seattle Parks about a sighting by gardener Nancy Cifuentes and an effort to track the coyote down:

The animal has a sort of mange, don’t know the name, that kills coyotes. This one, apparently, has it in the quite late stages. I asked her how she could tell and she said their fur falls off in big clumps, they canter sort of sideways and they get very aggressive. 

It was spotted in the park about 9 a.m. by both Nancy and one of the construction workers working on the playground. Nancy has called the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to come and up and see if they can catch it. Normally, we wouldn’t interfere with urban wildlife, but this guy appears to be quite ill and Nancy says there was a report that the coyote attacked a dog yesterday.

If you’ve seen a coyote in the area let us know in comments. Parks is looking for a little community assistance in tracking the ill coyote. We’ll update as we learn more.


It’s been a busy period for wildlife on the Hill. This young snowy owl is recovering after being found struggling to fly on Capitol Hill. Here’s a recent update.

We’ve also been alerted to a few coyote sightings in the central part of the city and around the Hill this fall via Twitter.

Recent Capitol Hill Coyote Reports

  • November 22, 4 AM — Bellevue Ave E
  • November 24, 1 PM — E Republican and 32nd Ave E
  • November 25, 8:25 AM — 19th and Highland
  • November 25, 2 PM — 17th and Garfield — See pictures below
  • November 28, 9 AM — Volunteer Park

UPDATE 7:23 PM — A reader has sent in these photos of the coyote taken Sunday afternoon near 17th Ave E and E Garfield. 

(With permission to CHS)

(With permission to CHS)

20 thoughts on “Officials trying to catch ill coyote spotted in Volunteer Park — UPDATE: Pictures

  1. Madrona Moms has had several reports of coyotes in the past week – since November 21st.
    Wed, Nov. 21st: coyote crossing Lake Washington Blvd at 32nd, right by the fire station.
    Sat, Nov. 24th: 26th Ave E and E John at noon (they posted a photo)
    Sun, Nov. 25th: 19th and Galer coming out of Interlaken park trail at 9:30 am (probably same one as spotted in your reports above)

  2. Also on 11/21, another sighting (by a neighbor) a couple blocks away from the 11/21 sighting in the Madrona Moms report:

    Coyote spotted at E. Republican at a good pace west of 30th E towards 29th E around 5:45pm.

    Maybe this is the same coyote I saw it on 11/24 (per my tweet, above)–it walked out of the greenbelt / backyard area between Lake Washington Blvd. and E. Republican St. (i.e., the backyards of the homes that are across the street of the MLK / FAME Center & Bush School).

  3. I hope someone is able to put him out of his misery quickly and painlessly. My mom had a coyote named Tootsie when she was a little girl growing up in Olympia. Obviously a terrible choice for a pet (she raised it from a pup after its mom was killed) but she claims it was as loving as a golden retriever.

  4. Coyotes are too dangerous to simply tolerate in Seattle as “urban wildlife”. Just as we wouldn’t put up with a bear in Seattle, there should be a policy of removing all coyotes.

  5. Only if they have proven to be “dangerous” by attacking people or other animals. Can you document any such instances? Otherwise, let them be. They were here before we were.

  6. I hope they do find him and get him something to eat! The Park is full of squirrels, but they’re fat and fast. They’ve probably been eluding his efforts to catch them — just jump out of the way of his Acme Rocket Suit or eating up his Acme Earthquake Pills with no effects, that sort of thing.

  7. Healthy coyotes don’t attack people. Period. There’s no risk to the human population to having a healthy coyote population, which is why the experts that are involved in tracking and removing this unhealthy one have no interest in the others. Many of the urban centers in the west have coyote populations living within them (including some very big urban centers like LA) yet how many examples of urban attacks on humans by coyotes (even unhealthy ones) can you find?

    They are a potential threat to outdoors pets, particularly cats and small dogs, but if you’re letting your cat out there is a huge list of things that make that a bad idea and coyotes are well down from the top. And they do help keep down the population of invasive/nuisance animals (rats, mice, rabbits, possums, etc).

    Equating coyotes with bears is stupid, and labeling them dangerous is ignorant.

  8. Hi,
    I live on 23rd Ave E. 3 of my neighbors on 23rd had coyote sightings on Sunday night, Monday morning, and Monday night. The sightings were all on 23rd, right by Highland. There’s a small greenbelt at that intersection, so I imagine the coyote is able to hang out there safely.

  9. Sighting of the coyote this morning (11/29) at the entrance of Interlaken Park on corner of E Galer Street and E Crescent Drive. It was headed north toward 20th Ave E.

    The animal was definitely mangy with clumps of hair missing. It approached my husband and dog but didn’t get closer than 20 feet before heading off into the trees.

  10. Coyotes aren’t as dangerous as they may seem, and their diet of mice, rats, vermin, rabbits are preferred far above our beloved cats and small dogs, whcih provides valuable control over disease spreading. Once in awhile one like this sick coyote appears. He is aggressive because of his illness, just as a raid dog would be because of his. It is not characteristic nor common to find an agressive coyote, though they don’t scare easy.
    If you knew the urban wildlife that is really out there, self sustained, but unseen, you would be amazed. Raccoons, opossums, squirrels and owls are just a few. Removing the coyotes would unbalance the population of the rest of these animals.

  11. Coyotes aren’t as dangerous as they may seem, and their diet of mice, rats, vermin and rabbits are preferred far above our beloved cats and small dogs They provide valuable control over disease spreading rats and mice. Once in awhile one like this sick coyote appears. He is aggressive because of his illness. It is not characteristic nor common to find an agressive coyote, though they don’t scare easy.
    If you knew the urban wildlife that is really out there, self sustained, but unseen, you would be amazed. Raccoons, opossums, squirrels and owls are just a few. Removing the coyotes would unbalance the population of the rest of these animals.

  12. A construction worker in the 1100 block of 22nd Ave East reported seeing a single coyote walking down 22nd Ave around 11:00 AM yesterday, 11/29/12. He nicely told us about it knowing that we have a small dog.

  13. Wildlife officials should not euthanize this animal unless he is indeed ill and suffering. There are wildlife rehabilitation centers, such as PAWS in Lynnwood, that could take a look at the coyote and determine what course of action should be taken. If the coyote isn’t sick after all, just hungry and desperate, he should be captured and relocated, not euthanized. I understand that this much work to save one animal isn’t necessary to some people, but this is a living creature and deserves to be treated with the same respect as any other living creature, whether it be a dog or even a human. I wish wildlife officials would take into consideration that this animal has the same right to live as we do.

  14. I understand some people feel that way, and that’s cool. I think it’s also morally justifiable to focus our resources on helping humans who need it at the expense of sick coyotes.

    Also, given the fact that nature itself would have simply let this sick coyote die, are we as humans ethically obligated to save it? Or have we met our ethical obligation by giving is a more swift and painless death that nature would have dealt it?