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Coyote sighting alarms Fargo residents

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FARGO—It's a sighting that's becoming more common and concerning in town.

Photos have emerged on social media of a big coyote in a populated neighborhood in Fargo, right near an elementary school.

Neighbors in the Woodhaven area said they've seen a large coyote, some even think it's a wolf.

As kids are preparing to dress up in their costumes to go trick or treating, the sightings are causing concern.

Little Taz didn't seem too scared, as he watched over his backyard near Kennedy Elementary.

Until recently, he's had no reason to be, but his owner, Mary Rosenberg, and neighbors feel differently.

Taz came eye-to-eye with a coyote, with nothing but a fence separating them.

"He wasn't coming in, so I stepped out on my deck and saw him out on the edge of the fence and walked out and realized it wasn't a dog, it was a coyote," said Rosenberg.

The coyote was caught on camera several times this week, stirring up an online debate over whether it's a wolf or a large coyote.

Red River Zoo veterinarian Dr. Colville said, "Coyotes have a sharper muzzle. This is again, about 99% sure that's a coyote."

Dr. Colville tends to the wolves at the Red River Zoo and says the two are often mistaken.

"If you could see them side-by-side, it's apparent. But if you can only see one, you have to kind of go by the facial characteristics, and this one is very much coyote, ish," said Colville.

North Dakota Fish & Game Outreach Biologist Doug Leier says the crafty critters aren't often spotted in daylight, and usually stay away from people.

"If you see an animal that may be out of place, might not be acting the way you think it should be, if it's acting aggressively towards people, if it's giving some kind of other behavior, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from that situation," said Leier.

As trick or treaters prepare to head out to celebrate, the sightings are concerning.

"Yeah, it's alarming. A lot of people here walk their dogs on these paths, so," said Rosenberg.

Dr. Colville said trick-or-treaters should: stick to well lit areas, to have an adult present and to stay together.

If you see one out and about, officials say there's no need to call, unless it's causing trouble.

Leier said that part of these increased sightings are because, simply put, we're growing.

As city parameters encroach coyote's homes, we see them more next to ours.

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