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Juvenile linked to dead, skinned coyote found at park

Original post made on Jan 2, 2018

A dead coyote found partially skinned and hanging from a tree in Arastradero Preserve on Dec. 24 was allegedly being used to practice taxidermy, Palo Alto police Capt. Zach Perron said on Tuesday.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, January 2, 2018, 4:03 PM

Comments (21)

Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 2, 2018 at 5:39 pm

Nayeli is a registered user.

If this youth is telling the truth, I don't think that criminal charges would be appropriate. A strongly-worded scolding from a judge might be better than a mark on his/her permanent record.

However, if this youth is found to have captured and harmed a living animal, then I would argue that something more drastic should be done.

Posted by Please pay attention
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 2, 2018 at 6:28 pm

I really really hope the parents of this juvenile seek immediate psychological assessment for this young person. "Practicing" taxidermy (in a park???) or not, mutilation of animals is not something to excuse away in the typical Palo Alto fashion.

Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 2, 2018 at 8:56 pm

Did you folks actually read the article? It says the animal was killed by a passing motor vehicle (presumably not driven by the child). The child found it already dead and then did their science experiment on the remains.

Posted by Please pay attention
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jan 2, 2018 at 9:21 pm

I did read the article. I made no assumption that the juvenile killed the coyote. Picking a coyote up from the road, carrying it to a frequented park and hanging it from a tree and skinning part of it would be enough for me to be concerned. I also didn't criminalize the young person--I suggested further investigation by a health professional was in order. This isn't dissecting a cow's eye in a classroom or poking at a dead bird with a stick. The guess I will hazard is that the overwhelming majority of juveniles would balk at hauling a dead canine, stringing it from a tree and skinning it.

Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2018 at 9:29 pm

Back in the day, young men (teenage boys) would be taken as boy scouts or other outward bound organizations to go survival camping and taught how to live like this. There must still be a great deal of books and websites dedicated to survival skills, hunting, scouting, living off the land. It was once considered teaching a boy to become a man.

I would hesitate to condemn this juvenile to anything more than inquisitive inquiry and perhaps listening to grandpa's tales of what he did when he was young.

Boys nowadays are no longer allowed by society to have adventures, to get into scrapes, to find their way into manhood, without being labeled as troubled and needing to see a therapist.

I sincerely hope that the juvenile authorities will be sensitive to understand the real motives of what this youth was doing.

Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 3, 2018 at 8:22 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Mutilating a dead animal, assuming the juvenile didn't kill it, is not a normal method of finding a way into manhood. It strongly reeks of sadistic instincts. Many murderers began their "career" by mutilating animals, dead and alive. This kid should have a thorough psychiatric revaluation before any decision is made about his future.

Posted by Jemaho
a resident of Green Acres
on Jan 3, 2018 at 11:12 am

I don't think that attempting taxidermy, or using the carcass for artistic or scientific purposes, indicates the need for a psychological assessment, regardless of the gender of the child. It is a carcass.

Posted by Hermia
a resident of Triple El
on Jan 3, 2018 at 11:17 am

As per *Resident*, teaching a boy to become a man, or teaching a girl to become a woman.
I can see my scrappy older daughter trying to take a bearskin home if she found a downed bear, as a teen.
Wow, that kid is resourceful!
And there is nothing cruel in skinning an animal that's already dead.

Posted by C-
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 3, 2018 at 11:47 am

Even if he did kill the thing, who cares, unless he tortured in. In several states, it is 'required' that if you are hunting and come across a coyote, you 'must' shoot it. They are a nuisance and a public danger. The death of this coyote so close to town may have saved a dog, cat or even a child.

Two generations ago, he would be a town hero. What has happened to our priorities?

Posted by Disgusted
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jan 3, 2018 at 1:44 pm

Uhhhh... C- what happened to YOUR priorities!!??

Article says "hiker found the dead animal..." meaning he found the dead animal hanging and partially skinned not as road-kill is my understanding. So, unclear to me how the animal actually died.

And, what kid says "hey, great, Christmas vacation - let me go find an animal, hang it up and skin it" Get him some help and fast!

Posted by mauricio
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jan 3, 2018 at 2:09 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Even if this kid didn't kill the animal (assuming he is male), needs a serious psychiatric evaluation. Skinning an animal and leaving it hanging from a tree is an indication of sadistic tendencies. I would be very alarmed if such a kid lived anywhere near me and my family.

To C-, there are many drivers driving on Palo Alto roads who are a nuisance and a public danger. They drive too fast, they run red lights and blow by stop signs. According to your logic, they should meet the same fate as that coyote.

Posted by Rose Gooch
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jan 3, 2018 at 3:13 pm

I live in an area full of coyotes. I hear them howling every night. I have yet to seen one dead in the road in our area. My guess is he was trapped. "Practicing Taxidermy?" Come on! Who does that? In Oklahoma, it is common practice to mount coyotes who have been hunted down as a "warning" to other coyotes. As far as I know, this barbaric custom is not something we do in our state.

Posted by Ranch Hand
a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 3, 2018 at 3:56 pm

Coyotes were considered a threat to cattle and sheep and were demonized and hunted in areas where there were ranches. The carcass was hung from the barbed wire fence. If this kid's parents are from ranching states, he was probably modeling behavior he observed.

Posted by Bette
a resident of Stanford
on Jan 3, 2018 at 7:05 pm

To Mauricio

Thank you for your most impacted comments. I hope you are carefully heeded.

I more than share your concerns

Posted by Meep! Meep!
a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

It sounds like the budding taxidermist was interrupted and scared off by the hiker as the coyote was only “partially skinned” and “evidence and a knife” were left behind.

Posted by CPA
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 4, 2018 at 8:40 am

CPA is a registered user.

I cannot believe some of the comments.
Maybe some of you should seek psychiatric help. This young person is not normal.
This isn't the 1800's.

Posted by To cpa
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 4, 2018 at 3:51 pm

Web Link

Posted by To cpa
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 4, 2018 at 3:54 pm

Someone should let the coyote know what century this is.

Posted by To Mauricio & Bette
a resident of Barron Park
on Jan 4, 2018 at 6:42 pm

I couldn't agree more! Something does need to done with those bad drivers! I think you are both on to something with the trapping and skinning them idea. Hope it catches on.

Posted by Ranch Hand
a resident of Mayfield
on Jan 4, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Catching and skinning the bad drivers?

Posted by C-
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 5, 2018 at 11:00 am

Recent advancements in gene mapping show that there is no difference between the factors that create sociopathic killers and CEO's. Labeling this kid as dangerous, now, can rob the community of the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg. In my experience both were sociopaths...maybe even psychotics.

That aside, it's a coyote. They may look like a dog, but they carry rabies and will kill Snowball or Fido as soon as look in their direction. If the boy (or girl) was doing this to peoples beloved pets, maybe I'd be a bit more concerned. Don't ruin his/her life over your prejudices and ignorance.

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