Yellowstone: Realm of the Coyote

Synopsis: A wildlife documentary about North America's adaptable wild dogs which are known for their trickery in folklore told by indigenous people of the Southwestern United States.
Actors: Keith David
57 min

Realm of the Coyote

It's a world forged

by fire and ice...

a wonderland with jagged edges.

Born of a cataclysmic eruption

nearly two million years ago

it's been exploding ever since...


This is the first national park

on earth and perhaps

still the greatest.

A primeval landscape of water,

light - and extraordinary life.

Over the eons,

Yellowstone has become

an American Serengeti

home to one of the most diverse

communities of large mammals

on the continent...

...home to the great Wyoming herds.

For thousands of years

the call of one great predator

has rung out across the wilderness.

The call of the coyote.

It's not the largest or fiercest

of Yellowstone's creatures.

But it may well be

the most cunning

According to one proverb...

"Next to God, the coyote is

the smartest person on earth."

If it seems almost human,

that's because like us,

the coyote is both cowardly

and brave - a schemer...

...and an opportunist.

Above all, the coyote is a survivor.

It was present at the birth

of Yellowstone.

It has outlasted the Ice Age,

the Stone Age, famines, floods;

and still, it's going strong.

Nearly 1,000 coyotes live

in Yellowstone.

This could be the story

of almost any one.

Let's call this one Cain

short for the coyote's Latin name,

Canis latrans the "talking dog."

Over the next four seasons,

he will face the greatest trials.

This is the story of that year,

a year of perils...

...a year of struggle...

a year through the eyes

of Yellowstone's coyote.

Wandering across the vast horizon,

coyotes like Cain watch over


At three years old,

Cain weighs 35 pounds

big for most of North America,

but average in the park.

Like most coyotes here,

Cain is a member of a pack

not a leader, just an underling.

Usually, he hunts on his own.

But every day, he is pulled back

to his home, his family

the group that sustains him...

...his pack.

A family of up to a dozen coyotes

rules a territory of

a few square miles.

The top dogs - the leaders...

...are a single male...

...and his lifelong mate.

The rest are usually their offspring

a mob of siblings.

Packs are an uneasy blend

of competition and cooperation,

snarling and snuggling.

But for all the seeming affection,

when it comes to food,

there's always tension.

The young are the second-class

citizens of coyote society.

They must wait to eat...

...until after their parents

have had their fill.

Cain should know he'll also

have to wait his turn.

But sometimes the temptation,

the hunger is too great.

He needs to eat now.

It won't happen without a fight.

There's no welcome home here.

Bared teeth and arched back

show Cain's aggression.

But his tucked tail and other signs

tell the true story.

He's scared.

Now he'll have to learn

the hard way.

As in most coyote fights,

no blood is shed.

But the outcome is very real:

Cain will go hungry today.

Despite the conflict,

Cain gathers with his pack

his siblings, his rivals.

Life is more secure in a group

than alone.

Coyotes have more calls than any

other wild mammal of North America.

This group howl means

they're all still buddies.

As coyotes rule the land

in Yellowstone,

another animal dominates the water.

It's the one creature that

seems to enjoy this brutal season.

And it's having a blast,

an Arctic blast.

For the otter,

winter is a special playtime.

Any riverbank is an excuse

for a slide.

From the hills to the valleys

otters create their own highways.

For them, it's always rush hour.

Zipping along at about

it's clear they've raised

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"Yellowstone: Realm of the Coyote" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 27 May 2020. <>.

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