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“Crittercam” Gives Unique View of Chicago’s Urban Coyotes

Check out this great article from National Geographic that goes into detail about how coyotes have managed to adapt so well to life in the city. They managed to get some “coyote’s views” by using a Crittercam (a camera attached to a coyote) that are fascinating.

There are an estimated 2,000 coyotes living in the Chicagoland area, yet they often prove elusive to spot. In part this is no doubt due to the fact that urban coyotes have mostly adopted a nocturnal lifestyle, generally only roaming the streets at night.

Much of what we now know about the behavior of coyotes in the city can be attributed to the work of Stan Gehrt, a wildlife ecologist at Ohio State University in Columbus. He has been studying coyotes for 15 years now and just finished the first part of his research.

Coywolf Sighting In Chicago Near Navy Pier

According to a recent article on Examiner.com, a coywolf was recently spotted in Chicago. This is one of the first ever possible sightings of the coywolf in the city. While there have been many reports of coyotes  in Olive Park near Navy Pier, this is the first time we have heard of the wolf & coyote mix roaming around this area.

What is a Coywolf?

We haven’t had any reports yet of coywolves in the city of Chicago however these creatures are in other parts of Illinois. So what exactly is a Coywolf? Well, as the name suggests it is a hybrid of a wolf and a coyote as the result of interbreeding.

The coywolf is apparently more aggressive than a regular coyote and much like a wolf it will hunt in packs. I suppose this type of behavior could be problematic if they did start to make their way into the densely populated urban neighborhoods of Chicago. So far people and coyotes seem to be getting along alright in the city due in no small part to coyotes not having much interest in attacking humans (isolated cases aside).

If anyone has any photos or thinks they may have seen a coywolf please let us know.

UPDATE: I have not had a chance to watch this yet but PBS aired a special in January all about the History of The Coywolf. If you do watch it please be sure and post your thoughts on this special below.

Coyote vs. Man & Dog in Suburban Chicago

NBC Chicago has a report on a Chicagoland area man who decided to wrestle a coyote in Fighting Glovesorder to save his dog. Luckily for him and his dog he was able to “throw” the coyote away from him and get his dog inside the house before things escalated further. His Wheaten Terrier only suffered minor injuries and importantly was up to date with its rabies vaccination.

While attacks on humans remain rare, pet owners should remain vigilant of the potential threat to small animals from coyotes. As always remember the advice of experts if you do encounter a coyote and just make yourself really big and really loud. Just let them know who’s in charge!

Chicagoland Coyote Tracking Map Updated – New Sightings Reported From All Areas

Reported coyote sighting continue to come in from all across the Chicago area. From within the city proper there seems to be a particularly high number of sightings coming from the north side of Chicago.  Lake View, Roscoe Village, Uptown and other north & west side neighborhoods leading the way. Surprisingly, no reports to this site or in the media of coyotes directly around Wrigley Field. {Insert your own Cubs joke here.}

Suburban reports also continue to come in with large pockets of coyote sightings in the  Oak Lawn, Arlington Heights, & the Mount Prospect areas.

Thankfully, reports of attacks on people or pets have thus far been limited to a few cases based on media accounts.

Thanks again to everyone for your submissions and keep them coming in 2014!


Coyote Spotted On Daytime Stroll in Chicago Suburb of Riverside, Illinois

Last week a coyote was spotted during the day in Riverside, IL according to a report on ABC 7 Chicago. This sighting comes after an incident at the begin of the year in which Coyotes reportedly damaged a door trying to attack a dog that was inside a house also in Riverside. You can find that attack on our map.

The police response is generally and understandably limited in simple coyote sighting reports. Unless the animal is a threat i.e. acting strangely or aggressively, there is little they can do and that might be a good thing. It is a debate that will probably grow in the Chicago area if the coyote population is growing.

Two Year Old California Girl Attacked By A Coyote

According to an article in the Sun Times a young child in California was attacked by a coyote_nps3coyote. Thankfully her injuries were not life threatening but a scary situation nonetheless. By all accounts coyote attacks on humans are very rare.

However, it is difficult to know what other factors could have played into this attack. Officials did shoot three coyotes in a nearby cemetery in response to this attack on a human.

Coyotes in Chicago are “Ghosts of the City”

The Chicago area coyote population received some national attention in the Economist via the Tribune today with their article on Coyotes as Ghosts of the City. This piece again points out that the number of coyotes living in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs is estimated at around two thousand. While most of us urban dwellers rarely see them, they are out there, primarily at night.

Interesting as well that city coyotes actually live longer than those in who live in what is often considered to be a more traditional rural habitat. As long as they don’t become to used to humans and keep eating the occasional rat, I think we should all embrace these urban ghosts.