Newspapers started mysteriously disappearing from porches—then deliveryman makes stunning discovery

When he started receiving angry phone calls from customers, he was more than a little confused.
February 5, 2018 2:16 pm Last Updated: February 5, 2018 2:16 pm

To the untrained eye, coyotes just look like reddish-gray dogs and, in many ways, they are similar (although I would strongly advise against taking one in as a pet). Take this San Francisco coyote, for example, who loved running around and playing with soft chewable objects.

When a newspaper deliveryman from the San Francisco area started receiving angry phone calls from customers, he was more than a little confused.

They claimed that newspapers weren’t being delivered to their houses, but the man could have sworn he’d dropped them off there. He theorized about what could have happened: Perhaps someone stole them? But who would steal newspapers from someone’s porch?

Then, one morning, he discovered the truth.

He saw a coyote playing on a grassy hillside with a newspaper in its mouth.

She tossed the paper up into the air, slid down the hill, and ran around with its pages flapping in her mouth. The newspaper thief wasn’t a kid pulling a prank or an adult with some hidden agenda: it was an innocent animal who just wanted to play!

Knowing the truth about the “criminal”, the deliveryman wasn’t mad at all. He had the perfect solution that would appease everybody: taking an extra paper with him every day on his path and throwing it on top of the coyote’s hill. With her own personal copy now, the coyote had no reason to venture out onto neighboring porches.

Jaymi Haimbuch of the Urban Coyote Initiative happened to be watching the coyote one morning when the deliveryman was on his route. He told her the story and even demonstrated by throwing a paper atop the hill. The coyote ran after it and started to play.

Haimbuch watched in awe as the furry creature rolled around, capturing a picture of the coyote with its newspaper using a remote camera. She shared the story with Mother Nature Network.

Often we meet people who have developed an unexpected affinity for their neighborhood coyote. In this case, it was the paper delivery man in a San Francisco neighborhood. He started getting calls from upset clients that their paper wasn't being delivered. Shortly after the calls began, he discovered that the local coyote was stealing papers off porches to play with them, throwing them around and sliding down grassy hillsides on them. His solution was to throw out a paper just for her, so that she'd keep him out of trouble with his clients. While talking with him the first morning we met him, we watched as the newspaper man threw a paper out on the grass and sure enough, the coyote came running down the hill in the still-dark morning to play with it. This photograph was taken shortly after that first morning UCI's @jaymiheimbuchwildlife met the paper delivery man and heard his story. What upbeat stories have you heard about neighborhood coyotes? #urbancoyote #coyote #sanfrancisco

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It seems like that coyote has become one of the most avid supporters of that newspaper, albeit one who doesn’t do much reading.

(Unsplash/Priss Enriquez)