I just received a message in my inbox from a well-known coyote biologist.
For the first time, coyotes have crossed from North America into South America.
Yes. The southernmost coyotes aren’t in Panama anymore.
They are in Colombia.
The image above was taken of one of two coyotes that were found wandering the Pacific coast of Colombia about ten miles south of the Panamanian border.
A fisherman named Ricardo Chavez was thought he saw some unusual foxes wandering a remote beach, but when he came closer he found them to be most unusual.
It was only when he managed to capture photos of the two wild dog that he began to realize he had something unusual on his hands.
He managed to get his photos to the biology department of the Nationakl University of Colombia in Medellín, where it was instantly determined that the pair were coyotes.
So far no one has managed to capture the coyotes or get a DNA sample, but they are clearly coyotes and are not any species of endemic South American wild dog.
However, a US, Canadian, and Colombian team are venturing into the region to see if they can collect more evidence of coyotes in this part of Colombia.
The sudden appearance of coyotes in Colombia has been something of a surprise. The nearest coyotes to these Colombian ones are in northern Panama.
Yes, these coyotes managed to cross the Panama Canal, which sounds like a terribly difficult feat. However, coyotes have proven more than willing to use human contrivances to cross into new territory.
It is possible that these coyotes have crossed the canal on their own volition.
However, it’s just as possible that someone brought them down into Southern Panama.
It would not be outside of reason for someone to do something like this. After all, coyotes were occasionally introduced to parts of the Eastern United States as game animals or even inappropriate pets.
So it is possible that human agency could have brought these two coyotes into the region.
Stay tuned for new updates as this story unfolds.