Police catch up with coyote that's been roaming around Richfield

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Richfield police finally nabbed a fugitive that's been on the prowl in the city for weeks.

The coyote, which has been wily enough to avoid previous attempts at capture, was nabbed around 5:30 p.m. Sunday near the tennis courts in Monroe Park, the Richfield Police Department announced on Facebook.

The animal, which the police nicknamed Cody, had been spotted frequently in Richfield and Edina over the past few weeks, and residents had been warned not to approach it. 

Cody has an injured leg, so officers brought him to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Roseville to be treated. Cody is expected to make a full recovery, according to the police department. 

That wasn't the only coyote warning issued in the Twin Cities in recent months, with the City of Bloomington issuing a similar alert in August.

Coyote sightings are becoming more common in general, and residents are having to learn how best to deal with their four-legged neighbors.

Some people assume that officers will shoot coyotes that are found wandering around residential areas. But animal control officials say that kind of response would only come if the animal posed an immediate threat. 

Are they a threat?

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says urban coyotes feed mainly on mice and rabbits. While they may occasionally attack a small dog or raid a garbage container, they're naturally fearful of people.

In places where coyotes have attacked humans (that’s never been reported in Minnesota), experts believe the animals had been fed by people and lost their fear.

What if I see one?

Animals that might prey on coyotes are generally not found in cities and suburbs, which puts urban coyotes at the top of their food chain, according to the DNR.

That might make them feel pretty cocky about themselves. That’s where people come in. It’s up to us to keep coyotes afraid of humans.

Wildlife experts, including those with The Humane Society, suggest “hazing” coyotes.

That can involve yelling at them, using noisemakers, shining bright lights at them, even spraying them with a garden hose – pretty much anything to make the coyote think you’re kind of crazy and there’s no telling what you might do next.

That’s life in the big city, coyotes.

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