I was reading through our neighborhood social media site this weekend, when I comment on a neighbor's lost cat caught my eye-- and it was about coyotes spotted here in the Med City.

It shouldn't be a surprise if there are, in fact, coyotes here in suburban Rochester. They're known predators here in southeast Minnesota and across the entire state. They usually, though, seem to stay out of the more urban neighborhood locations. But not always, apparently.

According to this Next Door post in the Country Club Manor neighborhood section, a Rochester resident did, in fact, see coyotes-- several of them, one the 'size of a German Shepherd', fighting-- on his and his neighbor's property in the Baihly Meadows and Woodlands neighborhoods in southwest Rochester, near TJ Maxx.

Then, another commenter said their dog was attacked by a coyote in the same neighborhood. The homeowner said he was able to scare the coyote away, and the dog, while suffering a bite wound in the attack, is okay.

So are there coyotes prowling about here in suburban Rochester? According to the Minnesota DNR, it's a possibility. Coyotes, the site says, can be found pretty much anywhere in Minnesota.

Most coyotes avoid people and domestic animals, but occasionally they will kill sheep, turkeys, and calves. They may also raid garbage cans, and kill domestic cats and small dogs. While healthy wild coyotes avoid people, incidents have been reported in Minnesota and other states. Experts believe these incidents are more likely after a coyote has become accustomed to humans, or after being fed by humans, the site said.

The DNR site went on to list some things to do and not to do if you suspect coyotes may be in your neighborhood:

DO:
+ Secure all garbage containers, wildlife feeders, and other food sources to prevent coyote access
+ Confine small dogs and cats in kennels, or supervise them when outside
+ Vaccinate all pets for rabies, distemper, parvo, and other diseases, as recommended by a veterinarian
+ Consider installing coyote-proof fencing
+ Harass (by chasing, shouting, etc.) any coyotes that do not immediately run from people

DON'T:
+ Do not feed coyotes
+ Do not leave pet food outside
+ Do not allow cats and small dogs outside, unattended

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