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Coyotes Seen across Metro Area

People are seeing coyotes in the suburbs.

Reports of coyotes in the metro area, including attacks on pets, appear to have skipped Fridley in the past few months—but there was a den here as recently as last summer.

A in March from wounds inflicted during a confrontation with coyotes. Also in March, a resident reported seeing . Coyotes in enough that someone has started a faux Twitter account for "Edina Coyote."

The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has tips about how to deal with them as they drift into suburban areas.

Siah St. Clair, director of Fridley's , said coyotes are familiar in Fridley, even if they're camera-shy:

Yes, we have coyotes in Fridley.

There was a den right in the nature center last summer, and may be this spring.  We saw coyotes running past the bird feeder area several times late last fall, and I saw tracks many times during the winter. 

Two years ago I photographed one twice with a trail cam, but the pictures were only of its back. They are very sneaky, and not easy to see. They would have babies right now. 

I’ve received two calls from people who have Red Foxes with babies under their backyard sheds in the last week.  No calls about coyotes recently. 

I did have two calls from Fridley residents over the winter who were concerned about coyotes attacking their dogs. The snow was so high that three coyotes were able to leap over a 6 foot yard fence and were being aggressive towards a caller’s dog. They ran away when she went outside. 

She has not called me back so must not have had any more trouble. I can only guess that the animals the woman saw were in fact coyotes.

We have had people in the past who have observed coyotes in the nature center feeding on dead deer that had been hit by a car.  That was two winters ago.

I have seen them crossing 85th ave at the railroad tracks several times over the past few years.  The Burlington Northern Railroad tracks are a natural pathway for animals like coyotes, as is the Mississippi River and Rice Creek.  These natural corridors allow wildlife to move freely  from place to place, so all that is left is food. 

With high deer populations and lots of rabbits around, suburban areas have become great habitat for coyotes.  20 years ago many of the suburban communities still allowed trapping and bow hunting.  Those laws have all been changed, so now there are no pressures to keep coyotes out of our backyards.  Think of them as the cheapest rodent/deer population control mechanisms we have.

St. Clair added this about the photo: 

This is the best picture I have—not a very good one, since you can only see the back of the coyote.  It was taken by a trail camera I had set up in front of a road killed deer inside the nature center. It was taken at night in the middle of a snow storm.  I have lots of pictures of foxes and other animals feeding on the dead deer, but this is it for the coyote.  He was just too smart to get his picture taken.

Laurie Schmitz April 10, 2011 at 11:43 AM
I work on the Mississippi River along Water St in Lilydale/St Paul. There have been large packs of coyotes there for several years on both sides of the river who have had easy access to neighborhoods along W.7th St, Highland Park, West St.Paul etc. I live in SE St Paul, below Battle Creek, and they have been here for at least 7 yrs. If anyone has an outdoor cat or small dog, unattended, within a mile of the river, you stand a very good chance of losing your pet to coyotes. Usually hunting at night, cats are easy prey. If this is not controlled soon, even our downtowns will be over-run by them. I've been warning people for years but rarely see the problem brought to the publics attention. People need to know that they are everywhere in the twin cities and protect their pets. Laurie Schmitz
August April 10, 2011 at 02:29 PM
I live near Bayfield,Wi. We have seen an increase in coyotes and wolfs. Coyotes will carry off small children also. Please be careful.
Pat Pierce November 11, 2011 at 11:46 PM
I live in Fridley on Hickory Drive. We have had a coyote in the back, very near my fenced in yard. I have two small dogs, and have to go out with them all the time now. We have tried yelling, banging things, etc. and the coyote isn't the least bit afraid of us. Wish we could get some help getting rid of it! I'm scared to death!

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