WHAT ANIMALS EAT COYOTES?

Written by: Akeem Eletu
Last updated on:

These canine species, although slightly smaller than their wolve cousins, are also predatory. They go by different names. They are called prairie wolves in some regions, and in others, brush wolves. They are not specialized hunters like other canines and are largely gregarious. They hunt in packs, and each member shares in the defense of the territory and rearing younger ones. 

While many other predators are subject to a possible threat of extinction, coyotes, on the other hand, are classified as “least concerned” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This begs the question of whether there are no other animals that eat coyotes.

Well, check out this list of which animals eat coyotes for a definitive answer to that question.

WHAT ANIMALS EAT COYOTES?

WOLVES

Wolves kill and eat coyotes but mostly in extreme conditions of food scarcity. They are natural competitors of the coyotes, and they do not tolerate coyotes in their territories. Studies show that the population of coyotes drastically reduced when wolves were introduced into the area. 

There are many possible reasons for the non-tolerance of wolves for coyotes. One is the fact that coyotes are natural competitors with wolves for food. They usually trail wolves to eat their kills. And in most cases, the competition between both canine species limits the available food sources. When this happens, the slightly smaller canines become food for the wolves. Other than that, coyotes are not the natural prey of wolves.

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MOUNTAIN LIONS

Mountain lions eat coyotes. These lions are one of the most proficient predators in the Americas, and they are powerful hunters. They hunt and kill a long list of smaller prey which includes coyotes. 

Their hunting skills are similar to many other felines. Mountain lions stealthily close in on the unlucky coyotes, pounce on a victim and deliver the blow that turns it from a coyote to a well-served dinner. Usually, the success sends the other coyotes running for their lives.

THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR 

These deadly carnivores are one of the most lethal killers of coyotes. They are native to the swamps, small water pools, and waterways in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and many other states. 

Their tactic is to stay still in the water while the coyote drinks from the pool. As the unwary coyotes drink, they advance underwater to an advantageous position. And in an instant, they spring out of the water to grab the absentminded coyote by the throat. The rest is only a fruitless struggle as the neck of the unlucky coyote suffers a 5000 pounds per inch bite

Sometimes, a struggling coyote is dragged down into the water and repeatedly turned until it gives up the ghost to become the alligator’s food for the day.  These opportunistic eaters are one of the most successful ambush predators in the wild.

CANADIAN LYNX

These cats are one of the most dangerous cats in North America. They live in dense boreal forests, and their main prey is the snowshoe hare. But the coyotes are also on the menu for them since their presence in a particular region depends on the availability of food in that area. 

Their hunting skills and behaviors are quite impressive. They stealthily stalk their prey and wait for the right time to attack. They pounce on the prey and deliver a fatal blow to the neck of the coyote. 

One of the reasons the Canadian lynx is seen as a proficient hunter is because it hunts during the twilight or at night when the prey is unsuspecting. At other times when the snowshoe hare is scarce in the territory, they naturally switch to hunting coyotes and foxes in the area to survive.

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GOLDEN EAGLE 

Golden eagles are scavengers, but they also attack many live animals for food. They eat carrion, including that of dead coyotes. While there are hardly any records of golden eagles attacking and killing coyotes, they have been observed to eat the carcasses of coyotes. 

In many instances, they will follow other scavengers to the kill and, on getting there, take it all for themselves. They will typically chase away other scavengers from the carcass of the coyote and have their fill. 

It is highly doubtful if golden eagles can hunt and kill coyotes for food. There are reports of eagles attacking and killing mountain goats and many smaller critters, but coyotes have yet to make that list.

VULTURES

Vultures will only eat coyotes if they do not find other food options. Vultures are not interested in the carcass of carnivores. They will usually not eat the carcass of dogs or coyotes or any other canine. But in extreme cases of hunger, vultures will eat the carcass of coyotes.

COYOTES

Sad as it is, cannibalism is a fact of nature, especially with some select species, and the coyotes are one. They often cannibalize each other, especially when food sources are scarce.

During the winter months, it is usually not out of place to find coyotes scavenging more due to food scarcity. They will eat almost any carcass they can lay their paws on, including a coyote’s.

BLACK GRIZZLY BEAR

These big black beasts are not usually active coyote hunters, but they will kill and tear up the coyote for food if presented with a chance. Black grizzly bears spend most of their time in the forest eating all day. They like to prey on smaller animals, especially the babies of other animals, and coyote pups are one of those easy prey.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Any piece titled “which animals eat coyotes” should be longer, but this is a definitive starting point. Some coyotes are active hunters who hunt prey for food, while others prefer to eat their carcass. Still, many others are hardly interested in their carcass since they are also carnivores, but they will feed on dead coyotes if they have no other available food sources.

It is also worth noting that while many other predators do not go out with the intention of hunting coyotes, they will kill coyotes for food if they get a chance to. 

However, the choice of some carnivores to refrain from the carcass of other carnivores seems to be disturbing.

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