Editor's Note: With 2011 winding down, we're using this last week of the year to look back at the five stories that shaped St. Louis Park over the past 12 months and had people talking. Today, we look at story No. 4—the city's coyote problem. Look for story No. 3 tomorrow.

When Jerry Stamm's 16-year-old Maltese, Cici, was outside his home in March, people started talking.

A number of St. Louis Park residents reported seeing coyotes around the city, falling in line with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' report of an “increasing” coyote population in the Twin Cities.

Jim Vaughan, St. Louis Park’s environmental coordinator, said setting traps is a possibility, but in reality, it's hard to find spots in town for bait that wouldn't also attract other small animals and pets.

That means that educating people about coyotes is key, Vaughan said, because they're likely here to stay.

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