Friday, October 21, 2016

Coyote America by Dan Flores


COYOTE AMERICA is the story of the undeserved stigmatization of the coyote as pest and killer. Author Dan Flores is a Southwest historian, originally a professor at the University of Montana. Narrated by actor and theater professional Elijah Alexander, the audiobook tells the history and superstition behind the animal, and its unjust comparison to wolves. In fact, the coyote mostly eats rodents or rabbits (although if in urban settings the house cat can become a target in lean times.) From comics and cartoons to legends of the American Indian, the coyote has been misunderstood from the beginning, and a systematic effort to exterminate them killed millions via gun and poison, with bounties offered as in the case of wolves. But the coyote, unlike the wolf, has not required the assistance of man to repopulate the wilderness. It has survived on its own wiles, spreading to every state in the union except Hawaii. In the movie Collateral starring Tom Cruise, a coyote is seen crossing the street in downtown Los Angeles. But they are often heard and not seen, except in the desert states where they can cross golf courses during play. A local news story here in Greenville SC mentioned a coyote sighting that got parents fearful, and had law enforcement out searching for the creature. But in Tucson, where I sometimes live, no one fears coyotes. They are ubiquitous. So our reaction to them depends on our upbringing, and knowing more is always a better thing than fearing something you don't understand. That's where audiobooks come in...listen on a hike in the desert or just on a mall walk.  (Click on downpour banner to upper right.) 


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