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Coyote Sightings in Maple Grove

Maple Grove Police offer safety tips for pets and people following reports of coyote sightings in the city.

 

The following information was sent to Maple Grove residents via an email alert Friday, Feb. 3 to residents by Crime Prevention Officer Todd Strege.

According to Strege, most common areas in Maple Grove that police have received reports of coyotes have been been around Rice Lake Trails and the Boundary Creek/Elm Creek Park areas.

“This doesn’t mean that coyotes are limited to only these areas because there are plenty of wooded/natural areas throughout the city where a coyote could easily live,” he said.

The Feb. 3 email alert to Maple Grove residents from the Maple Grove Police Department was as follows:

Coyotes are an extremely adaptable wildlife species that survive well in an urban environment – including Maple Grove.

With all of our wonderful parks and unspoiled natural areas, we not only encounter coyotes, we invite them.

Coyotes are wild animals and perfectly capable of surviving on their own. Feeding coyotes puts yourself and the coyote at risk. A coyote that becomes dependent on humans for food may become too bold, bite someone and have to be destroyed.

Many people believe that coyotes are here because we have taken over their habitat. This is only partially true; we have actually enhanced it.

We support coyotes through our household habits. Our garbage is often accessible; we have compost bins, fruit trees, gardens, and bird feeders. We leave pet food outside and create rodent habitat in our yards.

About 70 percent of a coyote’s diet is small mammals and fowl (i.e. mice, rabbits, ducks, etc.) The remaining 30 percent is things like fruit, vegetables and fish. Like most carnivores, they will eat dead animals as readily as they will capture live ones.

Contrary to popular belief coyotes are not nocturnal and will be active any time of day or night. They mate in late winter and whelp in late April or early May. This will often lead to increased activity as they hunt to feed the new litter of pups. They typically hunt alone or in monogamous pairs. They are not pack animals.

Unfortunately, this is the time of year when people are most active. As a result of this increased activity, the chance of an encounter or sighting increases dramatically during this time.

A full grown adult coyote will weigh between 20 and 45 pounds, but may appear heavier due to a thick double coat. They have bushy tails which are held low while running, unlike wolves whose tail is typically held high when they run. Coyotes have a narrower muzzle with a white “bib” that covers the lower jaw and extends into the neck. They have large erect ears typically reddish yellow in color. The fur is typically dark grey or black on the upper body and a lighter cream color on their undersides.

Children of all ages should be taught to stay away from every wild animal. In the case of small children in particular, it is always wise to keep them under constant supervision. They should never be left alone in an area known to be coyote habitat. If the family is going to eat outside in the summer, an adult should always be present. Like dogs, coyote have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and are attracted by any food source.The only way to guarantee the safety of your cat is to make it an indoor cat.

If you own a small dog:

  • Keep your dog on a short leash when outside. 
  • Avoid extension leashes when walking. 
  • Walk in areas of high pedestrian traffic. 
  • Keep your dog in front of you. If it stops, keep an eye on it. 
  • Dog walk with a friend or relative.

Even large dogs can fall victim to a coyote attack.

If you encounter a coyote:

DO:

  • Make yourself appear larger by standing and waving your arms. 
  • Shout in a deep aggressive voice. 
  • Throw rocks and sticks at the coyote. 
  • DO NOT RUN or turn your back on the coyote.

DON’T:

  • DO NOT feed wildlife (City Code Sec. 6-20 prohibits the feeding of wildlife)
  • DO NOT leave small animals outside, unattended

There are also several internet websites that provide valuable information about living with coyotes in an urban setting. One recommended website is that of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Kari Lyn Wampler February 07, 2012 at 03:55 PM
We have seen a few in the West Fish Lake area as well. We watched one stalking three deer about a week ago.
Holly Westby February 16, 2012 at 08:15 PM
I live on Rice Lake in Maple Grove, and have Many daily encounters with coyotes. They are a real problem here. Mainly because people in the area do not understand how to coexist with all forms of wildlife. They feed them, let them lay in there yards,and think its cool to try to tame a wild animal. When all they are doing is causing harm to these beautiful animals, and putting others, children and domestic animals at risk. These animals are getting very comfortable being around humans. They need to fear humans. Hazing is very effective if everyone does it everytime they see these animals approaching them, or entering there yards. They will not go away, but will again begin to act in the way they should and stay away and not approach people. But it take everyone to act the same way to these beautiful animals.Then we can begin to coexist ion the right way with all wild life. Read and research the many web sites with valuable information about how to act around wild life.The more you understand about appropriate human interaction with wild life the better off all will be. Holly Westby-Maple Grove
Bonnie Moore April 22, 2012 at 10:57 PM
I was just running on the Rice Lakes trails around Rice lake and a coyote ran out in front of me across the trail. It stopped and watched me...I kept my eyes on it and kept running. It was a little scary! Never came across one before.
Wendy Erlien April 23, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Bonnie - I enjoy seeing wildlife, but not that close! The only place that I think I might have saw a coyote was near the gravel mining area a few years back. It was about that time I noticed a red fox wandering around the Wedgewood Lane business complex.
Carol Meyer February 18, 2013 at 07:18 PM
We live in Plymouth near 36th and Zachary...we had one come over our fence early this morning trying to get our 5 month old sheltie pup. Coyote chased her to within 15 feet of the door. Coyote just stood there watching us until we threw a tennis ball at it...the yelling and waving arms did not faze it. It ran out to the back of the yard and jumped over the fence and disappeared. We're going to have to be really careful now.
KKnight March 14, 2013 at 02:40 AM
Found a dead rabbit carcass in the front yard yesterday. The head was nowhere to be found and the entrails were scattered across the yard. Tonight, our border collie/terrier mix came in the house clearly scared to death with her ears back and the hackles on her back raised high. We think there is a coyote in the Weaver Lake area near 101 and 83rd.
Cory Plotts March 18, 2013 at 05:37 PM
We live near 101 & 89th in the Gladstone neighborhood and we just saw a coyote in our backyard ... could be the same one that KKnight saw.

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