Some have called to report seeing packs of coyotes. Others have reported simply hearing the howling.
In the last month or so, officials in Apple Valley’s Code Enforcement Department have fielded about a half dozen reports of coyotes in the northern part of the city.
It’s not unusual for the wild canines to be spotted in the city this time of year. What’s different this summer, though, is the sheer number of them traveling together.
“They seem to be in packs lately – people are seeing from three to seven or eight,” said Val Abbott, code enforcement specialist. “That’s highly unusual for us.”
Also out of the ordinary, said Abbott, is the time of day the coyotes are being sighted. In past years, most sightings were at night, with few appearing in daylight hours much past 10 a.m. But this summer there have been sightings even during the hottest parts of the day.
None of the reports received by the city has involved a coyote attack on people or animals. In fact, there has never been a documented coyote attack on humans in Minnesota, according to the city.
However, city officials urge caution in areas where coyotes have been sighted, and have provided a list titled “Coyote Facts & Guidelines” on the city’s website, www.cityofapplevalley.org, to that effect.
Some of those guidelines include:
• If approached by a coyote, wave your arms and, if necessary, throw an object at it to scare it off.
• Do not turn your back or run from a coyote. Attempt to leave calmly.
• Do not intentionally feed coyotes, and do not leave pet food or bagged garbage outside.
The sightings in Apple Valley have been near the city’s northern border with Interstate 35-E. Some were spotted recently near Hunters Way, in the area of 35-E and County Road 11.
Generally, coyotes tend not to stay in any given area very long, Abbott said.
“They’re just always on the move,” she said. “They’re looking for rabbits.”
Coyote sightings can be reported to Apple Valley Code Enforcement at (952) 953-2570.