Community Meeting over Coyote Concerns - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Community Meeting over Coyote Concerns

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Jessica Daley

jdaley@myabc5.com

@TheDaleyReport

It's man vs. beast right now in Johnston. Authorities decided the best way to keep the peace is education.

Neighbors in Johnston are concerned for their safety after about a dozen recent coyote sightings.

About 40 people were worried enough they showed up to a community meeting Thursday night put on by Johnston Police with the help of DNR and wildlife experts.

The wildlife group even brought in a live coyote. They explained the animals mostly prey on mice and rabbits and do not usually go after dogs or cats.

If you do see a coyote, make loud noises or throw something at it. They're easily scared. To keep them away from your home at night you can leave an outside light on and bring in leftover pet food. Also don't leave your trash can out overnight.

Coyotes have gotten close enough to the homes to be caught on camera.

"In Johnston we have green spaces, we have bike paths, and Beaver Creek running through it. Those are where the big dollar houses are with the large yards," said Ken Shearer, whose yard camera has taken pictures of the coyotes. "We want to be close to nature. Maybe nature is too close for some people. Me, I welcome them. I'm glad they're there."

The police chief said anyone with a coyote problem can report it and an officer will respond. They have permission to shoot if necessary.

If there's a re–occurring problem, the city could consider trapping that particular coyote.

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