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Milwaukee Parks Issue New Coyote Warning

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Milwaukee County Parks issued a warning to the public if the see a coyote. April is typically the denning and pup rearing season for coyotes in Wisconsin. During this time of year, residents and park users are encouraged to exercise caution around coyotes that are protective of their dens and/or newborn pups.

Coyotes are very adaptable, timid and elusive animals that will build their dens in hard-to-find locations such as secluded parts of parks and golf courses, sometimes using abandoned woodchuck or fox den sites, and even denning in man-made culverts. Typically, a den is made up to two or more tunnels leading to a four foot deep hole in the ground, the entrance to the den is usually about ten inches wide by 13 inches high.

The Parks Department recommends leaving dogs leased during the denning period unless you’re in an area you know to be “coyote-free”, such as the designated Milwaukee County Parks Dog Parks, which are fenced off.

If you encounter a coyote near its den, or with its pups, do not attempt to scare the animal like you typically would since it will remain protective of its pups and may attack. Instead, calmly leave the area and report your coyote sighting to the Milwaukee County Coyote Watch page.

Pups are born with short, yellow-brown fur. After about ten days, their eyes open and they start crawling around the den. The male brings food to the female while she stays with the pups for the first two months. At about three weeks old, the pups head outside of the den to play.

If you find a coyote pup that looks sick or injured, visit the DNR website and search keyword “Keep Wildlife Wild” to know what to do and who to call. You should never bring any wild animal into your home, as this is unsafe for the animal as well as for you and your family and pets. By the time the pups are nine weeks old, they have been weaned and the den has been abandoned. Coyotes will use different den sites during this time.

By the end of the summer, the pups usually move out of the parents' territories. Sometimes the young coyotes stay with the parents to form a hunting pack.

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