Reports of coyotes suddenly attacking motorists along a California highway have awakened the usually quiet beach town of Bolinas for around a month now.
The attacks, which have not yet caused any serious harm, have left motorists on Highway 1 near the Slide Ranch exit bewildered as to why the otherwise aloof animal has suddenly changed behavior
One outlandish theory that is currently circulating is that the coyotes are allegedly eating (or being fed) hallucinogenic mushrooms, according to a report in the Pacific Sun. The fly agaric mushroom (amanita muscaria) reportedly grows in the area and contains hallucinogenic properties.
Based on witnesses’ accounts, one coyote has been observed to be watching cars as they drive through the turning section of the highway before attacking them. This wily coyote reportedly runs up to vehicles, forcing drivers to halt as the animal stares and sniffs around the vehicle. After scaring and confusing the motorists, it returns back into the wilderness.
One driver described the encounter: “It’s a terrifying, yet beautiful thing to behold.”
Experts have ruled out rabies as the cause of the canine’s abnormal behaviour as an infected animal has a shorter life expectancy than the period the attacks have been going on. The incidents reportedly started three to four weeks ago.
“One possibility is that the coyote has been fed, and this is a real problem for us in Marin,” Lisa Bloch, Marin Humane Society director of marketing and communications, told the Sun. “It’s possible that someone was feeding him and thinking that it’s cool, and magical and mystical to have a coyote eating out of his hand,” she explained.