Coyotes getting too close for comfort in some areas

NORMANDY PARK, Wash. -- Wild animals can be very bold in urban settings, and members of several local communities are finding that out first hand.

Many of the homes in Normandy Park are in wooded settings, which is prime real estate for both humans and animals. Recent photos snapped in the area show just how comfortable a coyote pup is in the neighborhood.

From West Seattle to Des Moines, there are plenty of ravines and green belts were dozens of coyotes live.

"We live quite close to the Des Moines fire station. There was a siren that went off about midnight and there must have been maybe three, four or five of them. You know, they started singing along," said Kip Kniskern.

While Kniskern's only heard the coyotes, Brett Fish has been up close and personal with the animals. He snapped photos of a pup playing with an old rug and a garden hose.

Fish and Wildlife officer Kim Chandler can appreciate the photos, but said once the shutter snaps it's time to take action.

"Yes, they're warm and fuzzy and cute and at the time it seems like a good idea, but bottom line is they're wild animals. We need to help keep them wild," Chandler said.

Chandler said anyone who sees coyotes up close should throw rocks, scream and do anything they can to make the animals uncomfortable near humans.

Food left outside for cats or dogs during the day needs to be taken in at night so the coyotes have to forage for their own meals.

"They eat a lot of mice, rats, squirrels. Anything they can catch. They're not above taking small cats, big cats," Chandler said.

Neighbors in the area say they've heard stories of residents losing cats and dogs to the coyotes, and Chandler said it's very important for everyone to be on the same page to make sure the animals stay away.