(DETROIT FREE PRESS) - Those wily critters are back.
Coyotes again have been spotted in at least two metro Detroit communities, this time in Canton and Farmington Hills.
Officials there warned residents Thursday to accompany their pets outside at night and to eliminate some of the coyote's favorite outdoor grub, such as pet food and garbage.
There have been coyote sightings in Canton, though police did not say whether the animals created dangerous situations in the city. The animals are especially active since it's breeding season, officials said.
In Farmington Hills, Police Commander Mike Ciaramitaro said an increased number of coyote sightings have occurred within the last couple of weeks around a wooded area south of I-696, west of Drake, near a wooded natural area around Howard Road.
"We haven't had any reported conflicts between coyotes and people," he said. "We haven't had any reports of pets taken. Or sick coyotes."
Ciaramitaro said residents in nearly a dozen incidents at the end of January reported seeing a coyote den, as well as large and small coyotes.
"My thought is it's a new family of animals that moved in there," he said about the wooded area south of I-696. "If I were a coyote, I'd want to live there. It's a beautiful area."
Ciaramitaro said residents are only encouraged to call police if there is a dangerous interaction with a wild animal, or if they notice a sick-looking coyote.
"If you see one that looks like it's losing fur or malnourished, those are the ones we want to know about," he said.
Canton Police Special Services Lt. Deb Newsome said people should put garbage out the morning of pickup and stay away from a coyote if one is spotted.
"If residents feel they are in danger of a coyote, or if they observe a coyote in obvious distress, they should contact the police department," she said in the statement. "Otherwise, residents are encouraged to follow the tips provided to minimize interaction with wildlife."
They made news in February 2010 when they were spotted throughout the Grosse Pointes and caused at least two pet deaths. Public safety officials there shot or caught in a snare at least three coyotes.
There was also a rash of coyote sightings in fall 2010 and two attacks on dogs in Troy.
Experts have said they are plentiful because, in part, they are adaptable and have learned to live in parks, on golf courses, in culverts, wooded areas and subdivisions. They have a plentiful food source in backyards with everything from garbage and fallen fruit to squirrels and mice.