ROYAL OAK (WWJ) - The gates remain open, but it's far from monkey business as usual with a wild coyote on the loose Monday at the Detroit Zoo.
"Occasionally local wildlife finds its way into the Detroit Zoo, and this morning our staff discovered a coyote on grounds," said Communications Director Patricia Janeway. "We're aware of the coyote's location, it's being closely monitored, and our efforts will continue throughout the day to resolve the situation."
Thus far, no incidents or injuries regarding the coyote have been reported.
Janeway said the zoo was briefly closed early in the morning to assure guest safety. However, the gates reopened to the public at 10 a.m.
As coyotes are typically fearful of humans, she says, there's less of a risk to people at the zoo than there is to some of the smaller animal residents. Until the coyote departs, many of these — including storks, flamingos, cranes and red pandas — are being sheltered out of harm's way.
In the past, Janeway said: "We've had foxes, and last summer we had a deer that found its way in...And then there's wildlife that live at the zoo full-time; skulks, raccoons, possums and so forth. So they know where to find a good meal, I guess."
As of 11 a.m., Janeway said the coyote was hanging out in the now vacant former Dinosauria exhibit. Zoo officials are hoping it will eventually leave on its own.
What the next step if it doesn't? "We don't know," she said. "Just keep an eye and try to resolve it as quickly as possible."
As of 4:30 p.m., Janeway said the coyote was still at large on zoo grounds.
[Get more information about wild coyotes in Michigan and how to prevent attacks at this link].
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