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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 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.

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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?

Jesse Lykken May 26, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Well, I suppose what will happen to coyotes will be what happens to all wild canids in Minnesota. Senator Klobuchar will relentlessly see to it that all protections are removed, Governor Dayton will sign a bill into law creating two (2!) hunting/trapping seasons in the fall, and drunken, knuckle-dragging yahoos can attempt to prove their manhood by putting the creature's pelt on their wall. I'm just saying.
JobyLynn Sassily-James May 30, 2012 at 02:16 PM
I have not seen coyotes near my home but I have seen them in the parking lot of my work in SE Minneapolis
Stacy W. September 17, 2012 at 10:52 PM
I saw a coyote trotting from Lake of Isles in the direction of Lake Calhoun around 9:45 p.m. on Friday night, September 14.
Wade Evans October 20, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I have twice now seen a coyote walking through the park at east 54th and Bloomington in south Minneapolis by Lake Nokomis. Animal Control can't do anything even though they admit coyotes can be dangerous. Children play at the park all the time and my concern is that a child could have a chance encounter with it.
Keith Jackson November 12, 2012 at 02:26 AM
I see them often when I am walking my dogs near Pearl Park. People with pet cats in the area should avoid letting them out at night as I am sure they are behind all of the missing cat signs that I see. Bye the way, they are beautiful animals.

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