The tripping balls coyotes of Marin county are a real thing. As I drive my daughter to school in the early mornings, this year, we have seen some odd, and entertaining coyote behavior!
Theory has been that local coyotes have been eating some mushrooms that make them trip out. Single coyotes have been running into traffic, inspecting cars that stop, and staring down drivers!
I guess there was some confusion, or concern, as to what kind of mushrooms could cause this?
Via the NBC Bay Area:
The Pacific Sun reported that coyotes in West Marin who have recently starred in bizarre confrontations with humans in cars may have eaten fly agaric mushrooms, which contain a psychoactive substance called muscimol.
The story went around the world, fueling tabloid headlines like "Coyotes are allegedly getting high on magic mushrooms" and "Coyotes tripping on magic mushrooms?"
While the fly agaric mushrooms have hallucinogenic properties, they aren't part of the group of fungi that commonly referred to as "magic mushrooms," which is slang for a popular recreational drug for humans. Magic mushrooms typically refer to mushrooms that contain a hallucinogenic substance called psylocybin.
Both can reportedly be found growing wild in the North Bay through the spring.