Why Would A Coyote Be Alone? A Naturalist’s Thoughts

by Derrick | Last Updated: February 19, 2022

One may encounter solitary coyotes in the wilderness for various reasons. Typically, they might be unwell, wounded, or young, and unfit to roam with a pack. Furthermore, human activities such as hunting might have separated them from their group.

The article imparts knowledge on distinguishing juvenile or sick coyotes, advising against their approach. To keep pets safe, it recommends nocturnal indoor housing for pets and supervision during outside ventures. Do bear in mind that coyotes often move in concealed packs, hence apparent solitude may be deceiving.

To avert coyotes from trespassing onto private property, measures suggested include the installation of high fences and motion-activated lights. These tips emphasise the significance of an informed interaction with wildlife, underpinning the coexistence with such intriguing creatures.

Why Do Coyotes Travel In Packs and Why May They Be Traveling Alone

Coyotes can actually travel in large packs, small groups, or even alone. Coyotes live in family groups, and the pack provides important security for the animals.

When a coyote is alone, it may be sick, injured, or young and not yet able to travel with a pack. Coyotes also maybe by themselves if they were separated from their pack due to human intervention such as hunting.

What Could Cause A Coyote To Be Separated From Its Pack 

There are many reasons why a coyote may be separated from its pack, but some of the most common reasons include sickness, injury, and young age. Coyotes can become sick due to many factors , including rabies, parasites, or viruses.

If they are sick or injured, they may not be able to keep up with the rest of the pack, or they may be too weak to hunt.

Young coyotes may be separated from their pack if they are not yet able to travel long distances or if they are not old enough to fend for themselves.

How To Tell If A Coyote Is Sick, Injured, or Young 

Sick or Injured

There are a few ways that you can tell if a coyote is sick. One way is to look at its eyes; if they are watery or cloudy, the coyote may be sick. Additionally, you can listen for wheezing or coughing noises, as this could also indicate that the coyote is unwell. Another sign of sickness in coyotes is if they are not eating or drinking enough, or if they are losing weight. If you suspect that a coyote is ill, it is best to keep your distance and call a wildlife expert for help.


There are a few ways that you can tell if a coyote is young. Think of canine/domestic dogs puppies, younger pups have a different more juvenile look than mature adults, the same holds true with coyotes.

Younger coyote pups will also be significantly smaller in size than other more mature coyotes.

Are Coyotes Always In Packs?

No, coyotes are not always in packs. Coyotes often live in small family groups, that are smaller than a pack of coyotes.

Is It Safe To Approach A Solitary Coyote?

No, it isn’t safe to approach a solitary coyote, coyotes are wild animals. You should keep your distance and avoid contact with coyotes where possible.

Coyotes are typically shy animals and will try to avoid contact with humans. However, there are times when a coyote may be alone and approach people in search of food.

If you encounter a coyote, it is best to keep your distance and never try to pet or feed it. Remember that coyotes can be unpredictable as all wild animals are, so always err on the side of caution. If you are concerned about a coyote in your neighborhood, contact your local wildlife authority for advice.

Is The Coyote Truly Alone?

While you may only see one coyote it truly may not be alone. Coyotes can travel in packs of up to 10 or more, so it is possible that the coyote you see could be with a larger group that are hiding nearby or within a short distance away.

Will A Single Coyote Harm My Pets?

There is no one answer to this question as the behavior of coyotes can vary depending on their age, health, and whether or not they are used to interacting with people.

A single coyote will often avoid a pet dog of similar size. However, if there is more than one coyote, they will be more bold and could gang up on your dog.

If you have small dogs or other small pets a single coyote may be a threat to them.

The best practice to follow to protect your pets from coyotes is to make sure they are kept in at night when coyotes are more active and when you let them outside, you should always keep a close eye on them.

Additionally, if a wild animal is used to getting food from humans by scavenging or stealing, they will be more likely to approach pets and the pet’s food while their owners are away.

How To Prevent Human/Coyote Interactions

There are a few things that you can do to prevent human coyote interactions. One of the most important things is to keep your pets inside at night, as coyotes are more active during this time. Additionally, you should always keep an eye on your pets when they are outside and never leave them unattended.

You can also take steps to deter coyotes from your property. You can install fencing around your yard that is at least six feet high, as coyotes are not likely to jump over a fence that is taller than they are. You can also install motion-activated lights or sprinklers near your property line, as these will scare away coyotes.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, it is impossible to predict whether or not a coyote that is alone is a threat, but understanding why it is alone may help you be less concerned.