Kenosha police alert residents to coyote sightings, DNR warns pet owners

The Kenosha Police Department is alerting residents to recent coyote sightings on the city’s north side, advising caution and reminding residents not to feed, pet or grab the wild animals.

“Generally, coyotes are not a threat to humans,” the department said online. “He or she will move forward on their own.”

Marty Johnson, a wildlife biologist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, said there was little to no risk of a coyote attacking people, although he warned residents with pets of be careful, as coyotes are known to attack dogs of all sizes.

“The thing to watch out for when walking is keeping your dog on a leash, Johnson said. “When you let your dog out at night, make sure you’re with him and your yard is lit.”

Johnson said the coyotes have adapted well to urban environments and some are comfortable with the presence of humans. Too comfortable at times, Johnson said.

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“They’re getting bolder, getting closer,” Johnson said.

To keep animals and people safe, Johnson said they ask people to ‘confuse’ the coyotes — to scream and annoy them — whenever they look at them, teaching the coyotes that humans should be avoided. .

“When we tell people to scramble the coyotes, you don’t have to hit them, just scare them,” Johnson said. “But you have to keep doing it until they get the message and leave completely.”

Johnson said the DNR generally does not remove individual coyotes unless they are violent or aggressive due to population size. The benefits of removing a few coyotes would be negligible.

“Be careful and be alert. If there are issues, speak with your community and with us,” Johnson said. “A coyote running across the yard isn’t necessarily a big deal.”

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