Since when do wild animals look both ways before crossing the street?

United States
May 27, 2008 4:23pm CST
When I was coming home from work earlier, I happened upon a coyote on the other side of the road. I swear, I literally saw him look first left b4 stepping on the road, then right and hesitate until I went by b4 walking the rest of the way across the highway. He had plenty of time to walk being the car behind me was still way back there. I was utterly amazed to see him do that. Normally, wild animals will dash out in the road and either turn around and run back if cars are coming or continue on hoping to make it safely to the other side. Has anyone else ever witness this with any animal, wild or domestic?
10 people like this
18 responses
• United States
27 May 08
That is really cool. I wish more animals would do this. I have this whole guilt complex because keep running over frogs (and I love frogs). Why can't they just stay in the grass?
4 people like this
• United States
28 May 08
Sometimes they have to cross the road to get to open water to breed. Only thing I can think of why they would have to cross a road. I avoid all animals if I possibly can. I cringe if I end up hitting one that I couldn't avoid. I also will stop the car to see if they are still alive and either kill them if I believe they are beyond saving or help them off the road if they can make it ok. I even stopped traffic on a very busy truck route once for a snapping turtle. Got out and hurried him/her across the road so it didn't become flattened.
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60892)
• United States
27 May 08
I've seen a dog or 2 do it and my cat, The Doctor, did. Few are that smart tho.
3 people like this
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
28 May 08
Note, Elic, that I mentioned ANOTHER of your cats below.... /o)
2 people like this
• United States
28 May 08
I've never seen animals do this before. I must be looking at the dumb ones then.
3 people like this
@ElicBxn (60892)
• United States
28 May 08
They are few and far between. I have to admit that I am an animal watcher. If I step outside, and there are people and an animal, I'm more apt to look at the animal.
1 person likes this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 May 08
That does seem a little odd doesn't it? I know what you mean though as usually animals if they are crossing a road just run and go without looking..My heart is literally in my throat every time I see a stray cat wanting to cross the streets where I live...The yo-yos that live in my area drive their cars like it's the Indy 500 and it's a wonder more cats are squashed when they cross. Like a moron, if I see a cat about to cross I say, go, go...go faster and sigh a deep breath of relief when the cat is on the other side.
2 people like this
@jrum68 (214)
• United States
28 May 08
My heart skips a beat when I see a cat cross in front of me too.... out of pure excitement as I hit that gas! Lol, totally kidding. I do hate cats though... lol. But no, I would never try to hit one! :P
• United States
28 May 08
I don't think it's odd but very smart indeed and amazing that the coyote knew to do that to be safe. There is a short road I go down on my route every day where there is always feral cats/kittens hanging around at this one house. I've learned to be very careful when I turn onto that road from the highway being it's not a sharp turn, just a slight angle off the main highway so ppl usually don't have to stop unless there is traffic coming from the other direction. I can be going 55 on the highway but once I'm actually on that road, I brake hard down to 15 before I get near that house so as not to hit any of the cats that sometimes like to lie in the middle of the road. Yesterday, there were a couple cute kittens on the road but soon as I stopped, they were gone. Too bad cause I would of liked to pick them up and find loving homes for them. They were only round 7wks. old.
2 people like this
@pyewacket (44036)
• United States
28 May 08
It broke my heart when one thing occurred years and years ago. I used to feed a bunch of stray cats in the backyard type area behind our apt. building. There was "momma" cat and her four babies...the momma cat was super friendly which was unusual for a stray cat. Her kittens were adorable but a lot more timid..but they all enjoyed the little feast I would give them. I had a virtual field day photographing them, and one of their photos of the kittens all together was later published in a Warren Eckstein book (this all took place in the 1980s). The kittens were a black and white one, a light color tabby, an orange tabby, and an all grey kitty One day momma cat disappears...have no idea whatever happened to her but the four kittens, now bigger stayed behind....so continued to feed them. Little by little they began to disappear too save two remained and don't know what happened to the black and white or all grey cat either, then the orange color one disappeared too so all that was left was the light tiger color cat. Well one day I was home and as usual a car came careening down the street then screeched to stop...I heard a commotion going on outside, and left the apt to see what had happened, but I had kind of guessed...yes, it was the one remaining cat. The car had struck it and killed it..People that were all around must have thought I was nuts, since I ran over and scooped up the cat and put it aside on the street, then ran back up to the apt. to get a towel to wrap the cat in then placed it in a bag--there was no real place to bury it, so I unfortunately had to simply put it in the trash. I wanted to kick myself, cause I couldn't help thinking why the hell didn't I take the four kittens and give them a home myself...I mean back then we didn't have that many cats.
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
28 May 08
Not THAT, but it wouldn't surprise me to see it, as I've seen animals do numerous astonishing things. A few examples: Before I retired, at my job (where folks often took lunches out to the lawn & would feed birds & squirrels), one day I saw a squirrel who apparently had decided that mere FOOD wasn't enough for HIM, oh, NO! He came sprinting across the grass with a small Styrofoam BOWL filled with food. They gotta have DISHES now?! Then there was Sab, my old roomie's genius cat, who learned somehow to unscrew JAR LIDS, so she could get out her favorite treat! And she was the SAME cat who (never having imagined the concept of "enemy") tried to play with a frightened NEW kitty we'd taken home from the Pound. The poor dear was cringing away, tying to look as small as possible, & shivering in fear. After a couple of attempts to get her to play, Sab sat down, & THOUGHT. I mean, you could just SEE the bulb lighting up over her head! Then, slowly, patiently & gently, she stood & eased closer to the stranger, settled beside her, & began to lovingly GROOM her, as though she'd reasoned, "Well, PLAYING wasn't working; she's afraid. I'll go slower." I have boocoos of other examples of this. Maggiepie
2 people like this
@ElicBxn (60892)
• United States
28 May 08
Yeah, Sab was pretty special.
2 people like this
• United States
28 May 08
BlackBriar, that does not surprise me at all of a coyote, they are very smart and cunning. They have to be to co habitat with us humans who most of the time would kill them for any little infraction they might do. They are beautiful and wily. I bet that particular one has crossed that road on many occasions.
2 people like this
• United States
28 May 08
I'm sure he has, Angel. I can't phantom why ppl would want to kill such beautiful creatures. They are only trying to survive in a world where their habitat is disappearing thanks to us humans. I'll never forget the one day on the bridge that crosses the creek that runs along the back of our property. I was helping my daughter's friend with her headlight on her bike. It was almost dusk and all 3 of us happened to look up at a dog crossing from one side of the creek to the other via the bridge. Well, they thought it was a dog until I said to myself out loud..'What a beautiful coyote'. They both looked at me and said 'WHAT?' I told them they just saw a coyote up front and almost personal. lol I was surprised since we were not 10' from that coyote and it just looked at us and trotted right along. I was calm, my daughter was calm since I've been teaching her about the wildlife/nature around us, but her friend went into hysterics and ran home fast as she could crying to her parents. I had to follow to let them know what happened and that the coyote meant us no harm at all.
2 people like this
• United States
27 May 08
Since their mommies started teaching them to, of course....lol. I have only seen one or two animals do this. I figure it falls into the survival of the fittest deal, the ones who look will live to pass on their genes. My neighbor's cat does this, but she is a really weird cat. If the neighbor's take their dogs for a walk she follows them. It is so funny to see them walking their two dogs and a cat.
2 people like this
• United States
28 May 08
They must figure that with all the cars/trucks on the road nowadays, they better start watching or they are pancakes.
2 people like this
@gabs8513 (48714)
• United Kingdom
28 May 08
Lol that is amazing and no I haven't Gissi has to be stopped all the time because if he wants to cross the road he does not care what is coming lol he just wants to cross I think he believes the Cars should stop for him
1 person likes this
• United States
29 May 08
Cars are supposed to stop for lil Gissi. It's the law, don't ya know. lol We have to bow to him, not the other way around.
2 people like this
@gabs8513 (48714)
• United Kingdom
29 May 08
Lol yes you are right there
1 person likes this
@jrum68 (214)
• United States
28 May 08
That's funny. There's actually this one coyote that I always see on the way to my buddy's house. It's always in the same area and I've seen it do that a few times. It is wierd to see an animal do something so human. Coyotes are smart animals though, so it doesn't really surprise me. Honestly, I never even thought about it until I read your post. I think it's only natural though, that animals figure out the dangers of crossing roads, especially since their natural habitats are shrinking every day.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 08
Maybe they are learning from us humans to watch b4 crossing. Their habitats don't have to shrink IF ppl would just buy the houses up for sale instead of building new ones like crazy. Lots of nice foreclosed houses out there as well. I've learned to live with coyotes being there is a den out in the woods I just discovered last week. Been noticing the same ones in my area for weeks now and noticed a couple of them going back to the same area in the woods. I went hiking and found the den but didn't go near it. I'm happy to have such beautiful and smart creatures as neighbors. Just hope my human neighbors don't find their den or shoot them.
2 people like this
@jrum68 (214)
• United States
28 May 08
Yeah, coyotes are cool, though I know very little about them and have only ever seen a few. But yeah, people are getting more wary of them now, especially with those coyote attacks on children a couple weeks ago.
1 person likes this
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
31 May 08
I have not ever seen an animal be careful crossing a highway or just any street. When they are ready to go, they go. Maybe you saw an exceptionally bright coyote who didn't want to be roadkill. I hate to see an animal smashed on the side of the road but some just can't be avoided. I know several people in our area who have hit a deer or doe because they did dart in front of a car. I've been fortunate enough to never hit any sort of animal, wild or domestic.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 May 08
I hit a buck few years ago that ran out in traffic, bounced off an oncoming car right into my lane. I had no choice but to run over it, wrecking havoic with my car. $4000 worth of damage. It was rut season and I saw that buck running full out across a field and knew it wasn't stopping for anything so slowed down.
1 person likes this
@DarkDancer (1012)
• Dayton, Ohio
28 May 08
I've seen deer do this. Not specifically looking from left to right, but I have seen a deer waiting for traffic to clear before it crossed the road.
1 person likes this
• United States
29 May 08
I see deer standing at the side of the road but only to graze cause soon as I get closer, they hightail it right across the road in front of me. Too many close calls with them.
1 person likes this
@kenzie45230 (3560)
• United States
28 May 08
Once when I was driving on some back roads in Texas, I saw a bobcat family cross the road. At the time, I wished I had a camera or video camera with me. The mother appeared to be taking the role of crossing guard. She stood in the middle of the street and directed her babies to cross the street. It was amazing. But back to looking before crossing. Yes, I have seen domestic dogs and cats look before crossing.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 08
Oh wow! I would of loved to seen that. Don't ya just hate those kodak moments and never seem to have a camera handy?
1 person likes this
• Indonesia
28 May 08
Haha, Really? I can imagine your confused face as you watch that coyote. I live in a capital city, which is kind of a metropolitan city, so I don't see many animals here. It's nice to be able to see wild animals when you're doing you're regular things. I only see animals at the pet shops.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 08
ugh! I lived/worked in Chicago for 2yrs. I had to leave cause I just couldn't get used to all the noise. I'm a country girl at heart. lol I love being able to see wild animals in their natural habitat.
1 person likes this
@saundyl (9690)
• Canada
28 May 08
I've noticed lately that the deer along the highway driving to work seem to take a look at oncoming traffic and change directions back into the trees. Squirrels are pretty smart about getting things open. My Grandma had a "pet" squirrel..he was wild and she fed it. She'd feed him the regular squirrly food but she would also put a cookie in a jar with the lid screwed on..and he had to open it to get the cookie.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 May 08
Some deer will just stand there on the side of the road and watch you drive past as well. Scary cause you just don't know what they are thinking and could just jump right out in front of you. I love watching the squirrels in the winter when I feed the birds. It's a friendly on-going battle on who is going to win with the feeders, me or them. lol
1 person likes this
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
28 May 08
I saw many dogs doing it. They are very smart. I didn't see wild animals doing it, but I guess they can learn very fast and understand all kind of danger. Coyote are very smart.
1 person likes this
@paid2write (5202)
28 May 08
That was one smark coyote! I once saw a pigeon hop onto a train when the doors were opened. It pecked at some crumbs on the floor for a minute or two then hopped off just before the doors closed and the train moved off!
@Maggiepie (7821)
• United States
31 May 08
Wow, Blackbriar--thanks! (For the "best response" vote) Maggiepie
• United States
31 May 08
Your very much welcome, Maggiepie. It was a tough decision out of 4 so I ended up doing the eenie meenie minny moe bit. lol
@TerryZ (22083)
• United States
28 May 08
Wow isnt that a smart animal? We dont have coyotes where we live. Mostly deer run out in street here. I really hate seeing when they dont make it.
• Philippines
7 Nov 09
i think animals are now smarter.they want to survive longer,so they have to look out for themselves.they are now looking for other sources of food,from trash cans or steal from people's kitchen . they are now looking out for danger.they are looking out for vehicles before crossing the street.