By John Lauritsen

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (WCCO) – Some homeowners in an Apple Valley neighborhood say coyotes have been getting a little too close for comfort.

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The neighborhood, located near 35-E and County Road 11, reported a number of coyote sightings in July and early August.

Some homeowners, like Lorraine, have even reported seeing them “hanging out” in their backyards in broad daylight.

“There would be five of them sleeping there, sometimes stretching,” said Lorraine.

The ironic thing about the coyotes in this neighborhood is that they are often spotted on Hunters Way. But there are no plans to hunt the animals that have made Lorraine’s backyard their home.

“They were there almost all day. They’d be there when we got up in the morning. They’d be there when we went to bed,” said Lorraine.

Lorraine’s daughter took the pictures of a pack of coyotes hanging out around the family’s fire pit. The coyotes look content, but Lorraine still worries about her 3-pound, 3-year-old Yorky.

“I just don’t want them in my yard. I won’t go out in the backyard to look after things there. My husband will have to do that, but I won’t,” said Lorraine.

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The city said the unusual aspect is how many coyotes are hanging out together, with three to eight together at a time. What’s equally unusual is that they are being spotted in broad daylight.

And the city believes the high number of rabbits and small game in the area has attracted these urban coyotes.

Deb Mingen runs a daycare on Hunters Way, but also helps spread the word through e-mail when there’s a coyote sighting. Her view is different. Despite hearing howls in the night, she’s okay with having them around.

“I wouldn’t mind seeing them. But if they’re gonna threaten the pets and the children – yeah, I’d want them out of here. But they not doing any harm as I can tell right now,” said Deb.

The city said they have had no reports of pet or human encounters with the coyotes. Neighbors that are okay with them being there, rationalize that they are infringing on the coyotes’ habitat.

But others, like Lorraine, say that homeowners were allowed to move here thinking the neighborhood is safe.

The city is reminding people not to leave dog food outside, and also to accompany small pets when outside.

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If approached by a coyote, you are supposed to wave your arms to scare them away, and throw something if necessary.

John Lauritsen