Small Beauties in the Wild: Prairie Wolf Cubs

When one farmer discing fields notices a hole in the ground and critters scampering scared, he knew to stop and see.

Gratefully he did, and in doing so, he witnessed a marvel in nature rarely observed by human eyes. Because these creatures are careful, wild, wily.

And I speak for most when I say these nature-dwellers by occupation are genuinely kind, and this older farmer called my farmer husband to come take a look.

Old farmer continued to disc, leaving a broad square of fertile ground untouched as he lifted his machine over top and dropped it yards away to keep on without disturbing.

Country Man smiles in resistance to the sweet and vulnerable, the love at first sight and temptation to keep one.

Me, always uncertain at first, prefers the safety behind a lens.

Of course, that rarely lasts long…

South Dakota coyote pup

Coyote pup

These long-nosed mammals with traits divided between dog and wolf are often spotted in South Dakota territory, sly and quick in their hunting ways.

Recall the last time, an adult alarmed by a trail camera?

South Dakota adult coyote

To see coyote pups is an excellent opportunity, and we took advantage of it because it may never occur again in their natural habitat.

South Dakota coyote pup

Oh so fuzzy wuzzy!

South Dakota coyote pup

Neighbor holding pups

They clung hard, but slept easily in warm arms until it was time to return to momma, long gone but always lurking nearby.

Instinctively, the five marched beneath the ground, ready for familiarity.

South Dakota coyote pup

South Dakota coyote pup

South Dakota coyote pup

It was nice to meet them, good to hold them before they are long gone predator and watcher of all things small and dead.

Of course, old dog keeps an eye, even if a battle is a little past his prime.

South Dakota coyote pup

Good to meet you, wild neighbors.

And one late night in peaceful rest, awaking to hear the screeching yips of success, we’ll smile at the shrill night’s howling…

… maybe.


60 thoughts on “Small Beauties in the Wild: Prairie Wolf Cubs

  1. Oh, what a special moment. I’m glad your neighbor has a tender heart. There is a bounty on coyotes here in Virginia.

  2. You were certainly blessed. What a treat. I’m glad you shared it. I live on a ravine and a few years back I was looking out my dining room window at this forlorn looking dog. Just a day or so prior to this I had found a dog with a leash dangling from its neck and I managed to return it to its owner. So when I saw this ‘dog’ I had the same thought. Thank God, it clicked in that this was not a dog before I actually went out there and tried to coax it into coming closer. This probably seems impossible to you, that I didn’t immediately register that this was not a dog, but I don’t see many coyotes, so I hope you aren’t laughing too hard at me. (you’re laughing with me right?)The coyotes eventually had to be relocated because they were coming up from the ravine into our courtyard. Had I found a pup, well, I may not have recogized it as wildlife. Not to make this comment too long but I live in a town with a small zoo and it is more common to see the elephants being walked down Main Street than to see coyotes. We also occassioally see tigers being walked on leashes in our neighborhood because a zoo employee lives a few streets over and sometimes looks after the young ones.

    • That does not seem impossible to me at all! Before moving here, I didn’t understand certain wildlife patterns or characteristics. I would have been scared of a coyote before, but now I am not because I see how scared they are of humans. Like the animals, I’ve adapted to my environment!

      As for the zoo animals, sounds like the set from “We Bought A Zoo” 🙂

  3. The fact that your neighbor left them their space speaks volumes of a true conservator of nature. We coexist with the local coyotes just fine and appreciate their part of nature. Thanks for sharing

  4. We had a neighbour who trapped coyotes; Dad came across a den of starved pups. Of course, being the soft-hearted farmer that he was, he brought them home to my startled Mother. We kids were happy to feed and cuddle those flea-ridden little fluff balls until such time as they were big enough to go to the “experts” to be cared for (local Forestry Farm).

    I loved this story and who could resist those little faces? Not I


  5. One more reason to just love spring! Babies. SO lucky you are to have been able to hold and hug those little guys. Before, ya know. They start killing your chickens.

  6. What a lovely experience, and they are absolutely adorable! Thanks for sharing and putting a big smile on my face – makes me want to cuddle one now! 🙂

  7. Oh my goodness they are adorable! Little wild ones are all about right now I guess. Last week while driving on a small side road just outside town, I was able to see a baby FOX! It seemed like a somewhat tragic incident though. Poor tiny thing (maybe the size of a teacup chihuahua) was lost, scared and completely alone wandering this country road alone 😦 It was heartbreaking, to say the least. We tried catching him, but he was so terrified he ran away screeching and crying, up into the tall grasses on the road side. Being night, and the fact that I was wearing only sandals and shorts, and we had spotted a skunk just minutes before (in the same grass), we decided not to go in after him. We did sit there for almost an hour though waiting and hoping he would come back down. So tragic. He was the cutest little thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

  8. Oh my, I think I would have been very afraid that Mama was nearby….. But they are oh so sweet and cuddly….! Thanks for sharing – I daresay I’ll never see one in person.

    • Oh, Mama would let us shoot them before she ever came back — they’re more scared of us than protective. It’s strange how some animals will die protecting their young, while others will run off and let you take them. I’m thinking of sow grizzly bears — would never want to run into one of their babes!

  9. Incredible! In all my years of seeing and hearing coyotes, I have never laid eyes on their pups. My girls were fascinated by these magnificent pictures. Oh, those sweet faces. They always wear such a haunted look as adults, don’t they? To see them so young, without that is remarkable. Thanks for sharing these, dear!

  10. How cute! I grew up in Montana and we frequently spent summers in our cabin in Glacier Park, I ran into a few coyotes during my time there. I never saw any pups though, I think it’s great that you took the moment to stop and look…so much get’s missed because we’re too busy. Then in sharing, we all get to delight in a sight we normally wouldn’t be able to see 🙂 I’m going to check out your farmerista post, I’m a renaissancista (hmmm, I’ll have to work on that one but I do have a blog Be well ~Kristy

    • oh yes, we all held them, (proof of me in the black tank). I didn’t worry of rabies, mostly that they would be wild and scratch me like coons. i couldn’t believe how much like dog pups they were in tameness. such a rare sight, and so grateful to have had the opportunity! thank you for reading!

  11. Wow, so darn cute! Hard to imagine they are those same animals that howl like no one’s business. Thanks for sharing this great post and photos.

  12. Unbelievable that these pups seem so docile. How did you coax them out of the hole? Also, could the mother possibly reject her pups now that they’ve been handled by humans? Just wondering… That pic of your neighbor with the pups is fantastic.

  13. Unbelievable pictures! Interesting that Mama Cayote doesn’t attack like a bear or a wolf would if you were close to their babies. To be able to hold them with her lurking around speaks volumes about what timid creatures they really are.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. That was the cutest thing I have seen in a long while. How amazing to live where you do and witness these beautiful, natural things on a daily basis.

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