Possible coyote spooks Eau Claire neighborhood - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Possible coyote spooks Eau Claire neighborhood

Eau Claire (WQOW) - An Eau Claire man had an interesting encounter with what he believes is a coyote hanging around Eau Claire’s south side.

It was a normal Saturday morning stroll for Greg Johnson and his dogs, until one of them took off into the grass, near Fairfax Park. That’s when Greg spotted something unusual.

“I saw what didn't look like a domestic dog but it was a canine of some sort,” he said. “I'm pretty sure it was the largest coyote I’ve ever seen or a really small wolf.”

Greg says he scared it off twice by yelling but the animal kept coming closer.

“It followed me all the way down the black top,” he said. “I was a little worried with the way it was following me he wanted to eat this little guy (dog), I think if he would have had the chance to get a hold of him he would have chowed down."

Eau Claire Police say they've received a few calls about a coyote or wolf in the area, but the DNR says it hasn't had any reports of an aggressive animal in Eau Claire.

However, they do say that a number of coyotes do live in the city

“They tend to adapt well to the Eau Claire area because it's so wild with the rivers and the parks and wooded areas,” said DNR Warden Scott Thiede.

Coyotes are usually active at night so a daytime encounter is rare but there could be a few reasons why.

“Any wild animal has the potential to have a disease like canine distemper or mange,” Thiede said. “The mother coyote is somewhat territorial if the young pups are in the area and they may act a little more aggressively.”

The DNR says any aggressive animal should be reported, but if you encounter a coyote scaring them away is pretty simple.

"Coyotes are naturally afraid of people,” Thiede said. “Wave your hands, clap your hands, honk at them, spray them with a garden hose they'll usually go away.”

The DNR says they respond to reports of aggressive animals and if they can find the animal they may take action to remove it.

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