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Coyote Hazing Plan Begins After String Of Incidents In Boulder

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - A new plan intended to minimize problematic coyote-human interactions in Boulder began on Friday with an extensive hazing effort.

The plan was made in response to a growing number of confrontations with people within the city limits. There have seven different incidents since Christmas where humans have crossed paths with coyotes and it ended in conflict. No one has been seriously hurt.

Valerie Matheson is in charge of the city's new coyote management plan, which has two parts. It involves teaching people how to better deal with coyotes and teaching the coyotes to be afraid of humans, mostly through hazing.

"We're having people out on the trail that when they see a coyote they are making noise, they are screaming. Throwing a tennis ball," Matheson said.

The hazing will be done mostly on a two mile stretch of the Boulder Creek Path that's east of Foothills Parkway. It crosses Arapahoe Avenue and Pearl Street to the north. The seven incidents have all happed in that area.

"This is the most reports of aggressive behavior in an area we've ever had," Matheson said.

Matheson said it's hard to come up with an explanation for the sudden jump in reports of problems with coyotes.

"Why? That's kind of the million dollar question," she said.

In November officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife showed CBS4 their coyote tracking program. They have collared dozens of them in hopes they can learn more about their habits and how they respond to human interaction. Experts said there's really not much research available on the animal.

"The coyotes aren't going anywhere," Matheson said. "We really value they coyotes, they are part of our native wildlife, and they are here to stay."

Boulder city officials say despite the hazing process lethal control of coyotes does remains an option if aggressive incidents occur and responsible coyotes can be identified.

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