Will Dangerous Coyotes Invade Minneapolis?
The animals have killed two dogs in St Louis Park recently, and some have been seen near the Chain of Lakes.
At least two dogs have reportedly been slain by coyotes in St Louis Park in recent weeks. Unlike humans, though coyotes know no municipal borders, and are moving into Southwest Minneapolis, according to the City of Minneapolis.
See our interactive map of coyote sightings, and add yours!
So far, Dan Niziolek of Minneapolis Animal Care and Control said, his office has only heard a small, slowly increasing number of coyote sightings. But with Minnehaha Creek, a partially-wooded golf course, and several lakes in Southwest Minneapolis, he said coyotes could easily make their way into this corner of the city.
"There are a number of variables that will drive it in terms of what their food situation is, and what the incentive might be," he told Patch. "That's where we come in as a community to make sure we're not making an attractive situation for coyotes looking for food."
Niziolek said many of the coyotes coming into the city will likely not have lost their fear of humans, and he wants it to stay that way. He urged residents:
- Don't leave trash unsecured, with outdoor bin lids partly off, or with bags of trash sitting outside a bin.
- Don't overfill your trash can.
- Keep the city clean and free of food litter.
"Coyotes tend to be very reserved, and they're normally not out during the day. We want to make sure they keep their wild instinct to have a fear of humans," he said. "Don't hurt the animal, but make it a negative experience—make a loud noise, shout—so they know you're there and don't loose that fear."
Niziolek said other cities and states have seen residents begin to feed coyotes, which then helps break down the animals' healthy, natural fear of humans.
To keep your dog safe, Niziolek added, make sure it's on a leash at all times—it's the law in this city—but take special care near wooded or green areas, and don't leave your pets teathered outside, unsupervised. Still, he said, most coyotes aren't automatically aggressive towards humans and dogs. Those that are, he said, are a problem should be reported to Animal Care and Control by calling 311.
"The bottom line is that coyotes are like all wildlife," Niziolek said. "Enjoy it, respect it, and act accordingly. Coyotes and us can coexist, but we need to be conscious of where the animals are."
Have you seen any coyotes around Southwest Minneapolis?