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Don't shoot!: St. Paul suggests 'hazing' those wily coyotes

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The city of St. Paul's web site boasts that it is "The most livable city in America," and apparently coyotes have taken note.

A 600-word release from the city details a "hazing" strategy to back the critters down. Banging pots and pans, yelling, throwing sticks, whistling and pepper spray are all suggested as methods make the coyotes feel as unwelcome as possible, according to the Pioneer Press.

"Do not make them feel welcome," the release says, striking a not-so-neighborly tone. "And be persistent and consistent in hazing them."

In other words, treat coyotes as your in-laws would treat you.

There have been two confirmed instances of coyotes attacking pets in the last three years in St. Paul, but apparently there have been enough sightings for city leaders to issue "Common-Sense Precautions for Dealing with Coyotes in St. Paul," which also discourages the use of firearms and warns against the use of illegal traps, says the PiPress.

It describes coyotes as a "highly intelligent animal well adapted at avoiding capture and destruction" and implores citizens not to leave food outside and to keep pets on leashes.

According to the Minnesota DNR, some 4,000 coyotes are shot or trapped in the state each year, and sometimes population density can be as high as one coyote every three miles.

If Southwest Minneapolis Patch is any indication, the west metro is all broke out with coyotes.

"The key to a healthy relationship between coyotes and people," the release says, "is to maintain the natural fear, or apprehension, that coyotes have of people."

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