Coyote sightings at local playground causing concerns for parents

Coyote caught on camera in Shelters Elementary playground

SOUTHGATE, Mich. - A coyote is causing concern for parents in Wayne County after it was caught on video lurking in the playground of Shelters Elementary in Southgate.

During the weekend, the coyote wandered into the playground and didn't want to leave. Though it wasn't sighted again on Monday, nobody knows when it will come back.

"We will keep a diligent eye out at our buildings," Southgate Schools Superintendent Bill Grusecki said. "When our guy comes in early in the morning he'll check, and our primary focus is to keep everybody at the building safe."

Even though there are lots of people around, in homes, condos and the school, the coyote has hung around for about a week now.

"He's walking around, circling the tree," said Tony Norona, who say the coyote. "He actually seems like he's kind of hurt, he's laying down and limping. So he's definitely had an injury the first couple of days. We can see it progressing though, it's definitely getting better."

Animal Control officers have set traps, and they've seen him. In fact, they were at the playground Monday afternoon looking. They've considered using a tranquilizer gun to catch this elusive coyote.

"The tranquilizer guns that we have, they're accurate from about 30 feet," Animal Control officer Aaron Bertera said. "His fight or flight response is about that, so we really can't get close enough."

Norona says the coyote is definitely bigger than the cages set up by the officers. They think he may have moved on to another community, but will continue to check the area for signs of the coyote.

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