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They're wily: Coyotes on the prowl in the 'burbs

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Some 15,000 residents of Bloomington are opening letters from the city's police department warning them that coyotes have been repeatedly seen in the residential neighborhood near the Hyland Park Reserve.

KSTP reports that several residents of the western part of the city reported spotting an emboldened trio of coyotes on the same day in a wooded area behind their homes. The animals wandered close enough to be caught on camera.

Neighbors in the area are concerned that the coyotes, known as scavengers, could come after their pets. Bloomington resident David Lee told the station that he saw a coyote chase a neighbor's dog. As a result, he is reluctant to let his dog Bella to go outside when she is unattended. "The first thing that went through my mind is I don't want to leave her on a leash anymore because who knows what could happen if they come right through our backyard here," he said.

The coyotes have been around for a while. Bloomington's city website includes an extensive section on the critters under the heading of "Living with Coyotes in Bloomington." The site warns that "...coyotes, like most wild mammals, may be infected with a number of diseases." It goes on to note that urban coyotes usually hunt alone or in pairs and that the animals can be spotted anytime, but tend to be active at night.

Coyotes have been a problem in numerous suburban communities, including Edina and Apple Valley. Last April, the city of St. Paul reported that the animals were spotted in parts of the city, noting that there had been several confirmed reports of pets attacked by coyotes.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources notes that coyote pups are typically born in April.

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