Like me, Coyotes are related to the gray wolf, which makes them my cousin. Coyotes are the nomads of wild places - they love to wander and roam in their packs. Through their diet of rabbits, rodents, deer, and birds, they are natural ecosystem balancers.

Sadly, like most other wildlife, humans have encroached upon their habitats so they have been forced to adapt to urban living. It is not uncommon to see Coyotes roam city streets.

We see many Coyotes because my backyard habitat adjoins the desert and is close to a mountain preserve. For this reason, my parents keep a close watch on me and Lambchop when we are outside. In Arizona, it is imperative to watch pets outside because they may become prey for Coyotes and many other wild animals. It is always sad to hear about missing pets or those snatched by a wild animal. However, it is important to understand that when pets become prey, it is not the fault of the wild animal. Coyotes and other wild animals are guided by their survival instinct just like dogs, cats, and humans.

Unfortunately, to stop predatory behavior, the disturbing solution implemented by our government is to cull the population of Coyotes and other wildlife using barbaric methods including traps and cyanide explosives. Since 1996, over 27 million animals have been killed by the US Department of Agriculture. Equally horrifying are the wildlife killing contests allowed by various states in which Coyotes are always a target.

Fortunately, many wonderful environmental organizations are advocating for our wildlife and working hare to prevent their unnecessary deaths and species extinction. Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity work on behalf of Coyotes and all wildlife. If you are on Twitter, please follow the Eastern Coyote Association (@coywolfassoc) which advocates for Coyotes.

Many Coyotes frequent our habitat - although we have seen only one in the backyard. The one that my Mom saw in our backyard squeezed between the iron posts in our wall - my Mom was amazed that he did not get stuck. Most of the Coyotes stay on the other side of our wall where our camera captures them as they stroll by the gate.

Coyotes are very curious especially with our cameras. One time a Coyote decided to steal our camera which continued to record as he took it mobile.

Some people say I look like a Coyote. What an honor for me to be compared to my cousin who is a beautiful, playful, and very wily canine.