Urban coyotes are literally full of garbage — and that’s risky for humans, study suggests

DM

On slicing open the stomachs of urban coyotes, researcher Scott Sugden has pulled out food scraps that might have come straight out of a garbage or compost bin, including a fully wrapped burrito. One time, he even found a leather glove. “I can understand a pineapple. I can understand a burrito. I can understand a doughnut. But a leather glove?” said Sugden, a research assistant at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. “There’s no nutritional value whatsoever.” From Vancouver to Montreal, coyotes are increasingly being spotted in urban parks and neighbourhoods. And their junk food diet spells bad news for both the animals and the people they live alongside. Coyotes that eat food discarded by humans tend to be unhealthy and may pose a health risk to humans since they carry more parasites and have gut bacteria linked to aggression, research by Sugden and University of Alberta colleagues found. Their study was published in the journal Scientific Reports last December.

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