Several coyote sightings on Christmas Day in Wauwatosa have prompted the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department to issue a warning to dog owners.
The coyotes were spotted near the Menomonee River Parkway at Church Street, Discovery Parkway and the Ronald McDonald House.
Authorities are especially concerned about these coyotes because they don’t appear to fear humans. Sheriff’s deputies that were called to the scene raised their arms, made loud noises and even turned on their sirens, but the coyotes they encountered didn’t run away.
Three dogs in the area were killed by coyotes in the fall.
Alderwoman Cheryl Berdan told TODAY’s TMJ4 that elected officials are working on drafting a new city policy to address how to handle the animals. They like the approach Mequon officials took, where it’s not just about trapping the coyotes, but also teaching the public to think twice before feeding any wildlife.
“What happens as a consequence of that is that coyotes are attracted to the food or the animals that are eating the food, and that becomes a nuisance. And then the coyotes start to not become afraid of people,” Berdan said.
Dog owners say they know the packs are out there.
"I've not heard howling. It's a yipping sound that I've heard and there's one and they'll be calling to another one and so in another direction you'll hear another yip," said dog owner Charlie Wakefield.
The Wauwatosa Community Affairs Committee will meet early next year to discuss next steps in creating a new policy.