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Urban coyotes pose little danger

It may seem alarming to run across a coyote while on a walk in downtown Rosemount. But the wild canines are in Rosemount and generally pose no danger to residents.

Police chief Gary Kalstabakken said police officers have reported seeing coyotes near the train tracks near downtown.

"You will see them in town," said Kalstabakken. But Kalstabakken said coyotes "are generally not an issue."

According the Minnesota DNR coyotes can be found anywhere in Minnesota including busy urban areas. In the Twin Cities area, coyote populations are rising.

Coyotes are wild members of the dog family. On average they weigh 30 pounds and are 18 inches tall. The DNR says the animals are gray and brown and resemble a small German Shepherd dog.

Coyotes generally are loners except when families are raising pups.

Simply put, coyotes don't like people. According to the DNR there have been no reported attacks on humans in Minnesota. However, attacks have been reported in other states.

The DNR says experts believe attacks by urban coyotes occur after the animals become accustomed to humans or after being fed by humans.

Coyotes primarily eat small mammals including mice and rabbits. However, they have been known to kill small pets including dogs and cats. Also they will raid garbage cans for food.

Kalstabakken warned against feeding any wild animal. He said small animals shouldn't be allowed to roam freely and garbage cans should be secured.

If you encounter a coyote that doesn't immediately run off, Kalstabakken recommended harassing the animal by chasing and shouting at them.

If problems should arise with coyotes they can be killed without a license. Contact the DNR or the city of Rosemount for information on coyote removal.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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