MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Police in the south metro are advising dog and cat owners to be on alert for coyotes following recent sightings.

The Bloomington Police Department said Tuesday that there have been coyote sightings in the southern and western areas of the south Minneapolis suburb.

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Owners of cats and small-to medium-sized dogs are urged to be on alert for their pet’s safety.

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says that people concerned about coyotes should secure their garbage containers and wildlife feeders, make sure their pets are vaccinated against diseases such as rabies, and attempt to scare off any coyote that doesn’t immediately run from people.

Wildlife officials say that coyotes can be found throughout Minnesota, adding that populations are establishing a greater presence in the Twin Cities metro area.

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For more information on coyotes in urban areas, click here.