Coyote in St. Louis County neighborhood causes concern

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A couple of weeks ago Fox 2’s Mandy Murphey was driving through her St. Louis County subdivision and noticed a strange-looking animal standing in a person’s driveway.  It didn’t have a lot of fur.  You couldn’t tell if it was a coyote, a dog, or a combination of the two. 

Mandy went to the Missouri Conservation Department and the Wildlife Rescue Center to see if they would come out and remove the animal.  Neighbors were worried about their small pets.  The agencies identified the strange-looking animal was a coyote with severe mange. It didn’t appear to be afraid of people who drove by.  It has been spotted several times. 

As a rule, Wildlife Rescue will work with property owners to safely trap a coyote.  They will nurse it back to health and then must return it to the same location.  Most people who want a coyote removed don’t want it returned. 

Studies show relocating coyotes doesn’t work.  Experts say they work to return to the same location and are often hit by a car in the process. 

The Conservation Department experts say the best thing to do is haze the animal if comes into your yard.  Make noise, spray it with a hose, do anything to make it an unpleasant place to be.  Make sure trash isn’t left out as a food source. 

Experts also say if you remove a coyote, another one will take its place in nature in the same location.  They are usually timid animals but will hurt a small animal if confronted. 

Wildlife Rescue experts say don’t let your animals roam the yard unsupervised.  Their advice is to leave coyotes alone, don’t feed them, and harass them if they come close. 

Urban coyotes are more common than we think.  They’re all around.  We just don’t see them because they usually move after dark.  As for the coyote with mange that Mandy first spotted it is still out there.  Experts say it probably won’t make it through the winter because it is so sick. 

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