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DENVER -- The USDA National Wildlife Research Center is conducting a study to figure out why so many coyotes are making their way into our cities.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife says coyotes have become more common in the Denver metro area over the last two years.

On top of seeing an increase in coyote related animal attacks, they're also seeing more coyotes go after people, because the coyotes aren't as afraid of humans as they once were.

The problem is, we're making them feel welcomed.

"I think people were pretty tolerant around them until their pet actually gets attacked by a coyote. Unfortunately, we do have quite a bit of that," said Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks & Wildlife. "I think we're so tolerant of them and we kind of go to grab a camera instead of grabbing a can full of pennies or some noise maker to chase them off. And that is encouraging them to stay pretty close and comfortable with humans".

So what should you do?

Parks and wildlife says:

  • Don't run or turn your back
  • Be as big and loud as possible
  • Wave your arms and throw objects

And if you have a pet:

  • Keep pets on a short leash
  • Use extra caution dusk through dawn
  • Avoid known or potential den sites and thick vegetation

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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