Here’s a little bit about our friendly coyote and our plans for his future.
Kyp Coyote made his debut for Animal School on July 12th, 2016. He originally debuted as a storyteller back in 2010 at the Sap, Sugar and Syrup festival at the Genesee Country Museum, performing twice a day each weekend for three weeks. The body suit was purchased online for less than 80$ and we added some colorations to the chest around the time the head was built. The feet, believe it or not, originally belonged to a raccoon suit and are now shared between Kyp and Swift the Fox.
It was an exciting moment in my career as a character performer. It was a real break from the norm that had been my life as a sports mascot at the time. It was an interesting leap from being a silent character to a full on talking character. I felt like I was gently entering into a world governed by writing, scripts and theatrics compared to the sweaty, fast paced work as a regular mascot. Honestly, it was something I never saw myself getting into.
From those early performances at the festival, I was eager to promote the character and see what opportunities were out there. Much to my surprise, there weren’t any, until that initial meeting with Karin from the Wildlife Educators Coalition. And as I’ve said before in previous posts, the idea of a storytelling animal character seemed pretty unique. Kyp was from then on, a member of the coalition while still remaining a full time character for my freelance work as Mascots United.
Over the years, Kyp Coyote appeared at numerous events for WEC around upstate and western New York. He was eventually joined by our wolf, Howler and two fox characters, Swift and Slyly. Most recently, Inola the Arctic Fox has joined the canine ranks as well.
We liked how our “Lupinology” program came together with Howler the Wolf and thus, a similar concept has been in the works for some time for Kyp. Like wolves, coyotes have a unique way of communicating. In fact, they actually have a somewhat broader range of vocalizations than wolves do and can form simple sentences, made up of “songs” of yips, yowls, barks and howls. This is something that coyote hunters have known about for decades, but, science has only recently started to study the coyote language within the last thirty-five years or so. And biologists have only started really digging deep into it within the last ten years. We aim to have Kyp unravel the mysteries of the coyote language just for you for a better understanding of this crafty canine.
Of course, Kyp needs some changes before the “Song Dog” program launches. First and foremost, he needs a new head. After years of use, his current mask is coming apart despite many repairs. Secondly, due to its construction, it is very difficult to heard through the mask, as can be seen in the video. Not to mention, it’s hard to see out of it, too!
My voice is muffled and no amount of projection can seemingly remove that poor sound quality. I do have a plan to create a new mask with a moving jaw, similar to Howler, Swift and Inola. However, it may take some time to complete because I need to make the proper color adjustments to the mask and I don’t have an airbrush!
So stay tuned and keep your ears pricked for more news about our beloved coyote!
Until next time, stay wild!