Wile E. Coyote and his friends have been spotted in Richfield
Approximately 10 years ago, an increasing amount of coyotes took up residency within Richfield city limits. For the most part, these coyotes have kept to themselves and become an important part of the city’s ecosystem.
Over the past week, the city has received an increased amount of calls about the city’s coyotes. We sat down with Wood Lake Nature Center naturalist Scott Ramsey to learn what to do when residents cross paths with a coyote.
“First and foremost, coyotes are more afraid of people than people should be of them,” explained Ramsey. “As long as residents keep scaring coyotes when they see them the animal will remain afraid of humans and keep their distance.”
It is only when coyotes become habituated they start to cause problems.
“Don’t feed Richfield’s coyotes!” reminded Ramsey. “Recently, several residents in a California community started hand feeding coyotes and attempting to semi-domesticate them. As you might imagine, this ended poorly and led to a lot of problems for the community.
Cities throughout the metro, not just Richfield, have seen an increase in coyote activity.
If you are looking to dissuade coyotes from coming onto your property, Ramsey recommends ten possible solutions you can employ to make your yard unattractive to coyotes. They include:
- Bring in water and pet food dishes
- Bring in bird feeders
- Light your yard at night
- Place a radio in the yard (remember to be respectful of your neighbors)
- Place ammonia-soaked rags in places you have seen coyotes roaming
- Install fencing
- Haze the animal when you see it by raising your arms over your head and yelling at the top of your lungs
- Make a coyote shaker
- Fill a squirt gun with vinegar and shoot in the direction of the coyote
- Squirt the coyote with a garden hose
After a resident hazes a specific coyote two or three times, it will find more low-key places to roam. However, it is very important to never haze a coyote that appears injured, cornered or is with pups.
“Most residents do not realize that the city’s coyotes save taxpayers thousands of dollars every year,” said Ramsey. “They are an important part of the city’s urban ecosystem. Coyotes assist in the management of the rodent, geese, rabbit and raccoon population, which would otherwise need to be controlled by city staff.”
If you have any more questions about the city’s coyotes, please contact the Wood Lake Nature Center and talk to one of the city’s naturalists by calling 612-861-9365.