ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Coyote sightings are on the rise in the Twin Cities as the population of the animal has grown in the area in the last decade.

Coyotes have been found in parks, streets and backyards in the suburbs, Minnesota Public Radio News reports. One was even spotted on a runway at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Bob Fashingbauer, a wildlife area manager for the state Department of Natural Resources, said coyotes have adapted as people move into their former habitats. It's a great deal for coyotes, he said.

“It's like a sanctuary to them,” Fashingbauer said. “They're free of predators. They can't be hunted or trapped. So they kind of become the top predator in the food chain.”

Roseville police Lt. Lorne Rosand said there have been more calls about coyote sightings, but he says officers won't try to kill them unless there's a threat.

“At times, when we do show up, the expectation is `You're going to shoot the coyote, right?”' Rosand said. “It's like, `no we're not.”'

Tim Hunter, an animal control officer with the Edina Police Department, said hazing coyotes can be more effective in keeping them away from homes than shooting or poisoning them. He says yelling, using noise markers or spraying them with a hose can work.

“When they don't have anything challenging them, they feel no need to hide their activities, they feel no need to back down to anything,” Hunter said. “That's where hazing comes in. If you address or approach a coyotevery aggressively, you are, in their language, telling them you're higher on the food chain than they are. They're in your territory and they need to leave.”

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Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News, http://www.mprnews.org