In the Yard

Rhonda Hayes is a garden writer, photographer and blogger. She also volunteers as a Hennepin County Master Gardener. Rhonda chronicles her gardening adventures and advice at her award-winning blog, The Garden Buzz. She is a frequent contributor to Northern Gardener magazine and the Star Tribune Home + Garden section. At Your Voices, she writes about life around the city lakes, occasionally veering off the garden path with essays on the silly and serious issues of the day.

Urban Coyotes, North or South, They're Everywhere

Posted by: Rhonda Hayes Updated: January 20, 2013 - 9:18 AM

 Coyotes made the headlines this fall when they were spotted making themselves at home in Edina. They obviously see the advantages as most humans do; great neighborhoods, restaurants and schools, well, yeah, all kidding aside, it is a beautiful place to settle. 

Fast forward to my winter getaway and the headlines read the same. Twenty minutes outside of Savannah, the popular tourist destination Tybee Island, is having a bit of a coyote problem too, although it seems it is just one coyote causing the ruckus. He's been dubbed Wile E Coyote and I hear he has his own facebook page.

As happens all over, residents are divided, with some seeing the coyotes as having the right to exist where they want, others enjoying a little nature in the city and then the last group that fears for their small dogs and toddlers. They've all got a point.

 I keep thinking back to this article I read a few months ago that suggested we should all get used to these carnivores in the city and make way for the thought of even larger ones living amongst us urban dwellers. Mountain lions and bears are becoming more prevalent on the outskirts of major cities finding the city life tasty and convenient.

As we encroach upon their territories they are adapting. And while there are more dangerous things in the city waiting to harm and kill us, like cars and crime, the thought of meeting up with a mountain lion while taking out the garbage is unnerving to say the least.

Is there anything you can do? Well, with the coyotes, there a few commonsense things we have under our control. Don't feed pets outdoors. Secure trash cans and bring them in promptly. Keep coyotes wary of you by being downright unfriendly, the DNR will tell you to wave your arms and shout to appear threatening. Becoming accustomed to and unafraid of humans is presumably one of the problems behind this issue.

There's talk of trapping the coyote on Tybee and relocating him. Will he just become another community's problem? 

 And what about Edina, have they found a way to co-exist with these crafty creatures?

 

 

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