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Police pull plug on sniper program aimed at reducing suburban coyotes

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After a plan to limit the coyote population in two west metro suburbs went awry, Edina Police Chief Jeff Long has a message for residents: "Coyotes are here to stay."

Community members have complained for years about coyotes that come too close to homes and have lost their instinctive fear of humans, KSTP reports.

In February, the cities of Edina and St. Louis Park hired a contracted sharp shooter to hunt coyotes at night in non-residential areas.

"On the first night, on the first shot, we had a house hit," Long told KSTP. "Shooting them, taking a human life is not worth trying to thin an animal."

In Long's blog on the city's website, the police chief offers a solution.

"The choice we have is to haze this animal or let it continue to hold us hostage. Hazing is the only safe method that works in residential settings."

To restore the animals' fear of humans, Long is advising that residents keep their distance and use a loud, authoritative voice, blow a whistle or throw objects towards coyotes to frighten them.

Long is referring the community to instructions given to residents in Florida's Pinella County also dealing with the nuisance animals.

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