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A really wily West Fargo Coyote

A coyote is seen momentarily trapped in the backyard of West Fargo Public Works director Barry Johnson's house. While authorities attempted to figure out how best to handle the situation, the animal scaled the fence and disappeared, Johnson said.

West Fargo Public Works director Barry Johnson and his family had an uninvited visitor to their yard at 1406 16th Ave. E. that livened things up a bit, before the situation was settled without incident.

At about 9 p.m. Sunday, a coyote with an apparent injured back leg managed to access Johnson's fenced-in backyard.

Barry's wife, Sally, heard a noise, looked out the window and asked "why do we have a dog in our yard?"

Upon further investigation, they discovered the "dog" actually was a coyote, and quickly dialed 911.

Four West Fargo Police Department patrol cars were soon on the scene, which piqued the interest of neighbors who all headed for the Johnson's to see what all the hubbub was about.

Barry said his 9-year old daughter, Emma, feared for the safety of the coyote. The fear was all for not, however, because while everybody was trying to figure out how to best handle the situation, the coyote somehow scaled the wall unnoticed and disappeared.

Barry said the positive thing about the whole incident was that the family's 140-pound Chesapeake happened to be inside. Otherwise, there could have been a totally different ending.

According to West Fargo police Sgt. Gary Bommersbach, authorities attempted to shoot the coyote with a tranquilizer dart before they lost track of it.

At one point, police cornered the canine in the parking lot of Scheels off 45th Street, but it escaped and fled back into West Fargo, Fargo police Sgt. Chris Helmick said.

As of about 10 p.m., Sunday, West Fargo police had not seen the coyote again, Bommersbach said.