Coyotes behaving strangely and charging at cars in California has been put down to the fact they are tripping balls on magic mushrooms.
At least two of the animals appeared to be repeatedly running at cars near Stinson Beach and Bolinas, two Pacific coast towns near San Francisco.
According to the Interational Business Times the coyotes play ‘chicken’ with motorists, staring down passing cars and causing drivers to stop to avoid hitting them.
The animals then run at the cars, snapping and sniffing before moving off: “It’s a terrifying, yet beautiful, thing to behold,” a witness told the Pacific Sun.
The Marin County Humane Society has now launched an investigation into the bizarre behaviour. Experts have ruled out rabies, as the attacks have been going on for weeks, so the prevailing theory is that they are just high.
Animal experts have photographed coyotes munching on fly agaric mushrooms (amanita muscaria) in the wild – which have long been used in shamanistic practices all over the world.
These speckled red-capped toadstools – believed to be the mushroom Alice in Wonderland eats – have strong psychoactive, hallucinogenic properties.
Another theory is that the charging coyotes may have been motivated to behave like this after being fed by a driver – so now they’re chasing down vehicles in a hunt for more food.
We prefer the mushroom theory though.