URBANDALE, Iowa — Citing several attacks by coyotes on small pets over the past two years and a growing number of calls from concerned citizens, the City of Urbandale approved a new “master plan” this week.

“This provides some resources for our community to respond to when they see a coyote,” says Urbandale Parks and Recreation director, Jan Herke.

Written in conjunction with the Iowa DNR, the plan does a number of things; among them:

  • adds a special page on living with coyotes to the City of Urbandale’s website
  • provides an instructional video with Scott Hock of the Urbandale Parks and Rec Department
  • lists a special contact number to report coyote problems through the police department
  • establishes a multi-step intervention plan for dealing with problem animals

Coyotes are common and adapted to all areas in Iowa, so simply trapping or killing them will not permanently solve any problems they might create.

“I’ve learned that if you take a coyote out,” says Herke, “that actually if it’s an alpha male or female, that could splinter the pack — and now they create two packs or even more.”

While both the City of Urbandale and the Iowa DNR will take all coyote calls from concerned citizens seriously, Herke says people should understand that simply seeing a coyote during the day, or in a residential area, shouldn’t be alarming.

Coyotes that come within 30 feet of humans or those that go after pets should be called into the Urbandale Police Department’s non-emergency number (515) 222-3321.

“We will continue to see coyotes in an urban setting,” Herke says. “This is a way for us to coexist and so people will be aware of how to respond if they do see a coyote.”