Thursday, January 28, 2016

Beware the 'Shrooming Coyotes of Bolinas

Coyotes, Possibly High On Magic Mushrooms, Attacking Cars Near Stinson Beach
The sleepy beach town of Bolinas has something lively to talk about this week, as reports emerge that a coyote (or coyotes) has been attacking cars along Highway 1 in a manner so bizarre it has residents scratching their heads. The attacks are weird enough that one seemingly outlandish explanation, that the coyotes are eating hallucinogenic mushrooms and vision questing their way into interactions with drivers, is being considered.

A report in the Pacific Sun details the late-night encounters had by numerous motorists.
"A coyote has taken to staring down automobile drivers as they drive through this twisting, turning section of highway," notes the paper, "before attacking the car and then skulking off back into the wilderness. The coyote runs up to the cars, usually at night, forcing drivers to stop as the beast stares and sniffs around the vehicle."
. . .
“We are trying to figure this out,” Bloch helpfully informs us.

The Sun notes that the fly agaric mushroom (amanita muscaria) grows in the area and has hallucinogenic properties, and that Bloch recently warned residents about the possible side effects of their pets eating the wild fungus.
. . .
“It’s possible that someone was feeding him and thinking that it’s cool, and magical and mystical to have a coyote eating out of his hand,” she explained.

Which, when we consider that this is Bolinas we're talking about, seems in the end the likeliest of explanations.
Which reminds me of an "interesting trip" up Highway 1 at the end of winter break back in college, which I will not explain.

By way of Ann Althouse, this helpful video on how to discourage coyotes from being seen in populated areas:

I encountered coyotes a few times out in the West, and never had any problem with them not leaving at first sight. The coyotes of Wisconsin may have some "coydog" or "coywolf". The coywolves, in particular are larger, and have been implicated in human attacks.

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