According to an article in the Sun Times a young child in California was attacked by a coyote. 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.
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.
With female coyotes out to protect their pups, hikers and dog walkers should use a bit more caution as we head into spring in Northern Illinois. Of course the usual rules apply should you come across a coyote. Wave your arms, throw a stick or rock, and lots of yelling should keep everyone safe.
An article on Patch today describes a reader’s sighting of a very large coyote near Oak Lawn Community High School in Oak Lawn, IL yesterday morning. There are also some great photographs that seem to show this as being one of the biggest coyotes seen in the Chicago area of late.
According to ABC 7 News Chicago, a pair of coyotes were spotted and filmed on Chicago’s South side. They were first spotted near Washington Park before travelling west through Midway Plaisance to Jackson Park and eventually being the coyotes were seen by the University of Chicago campus early Wednesday. The sighting in Washington Park is apparently significant as these animals are rarely seen such a distance from Lake Michigan.
The village of Wheaton recently issued a coyote alert for pet owners as coyotes in this part of the state are entering mating season. The alert also suggested that coyote sightings may become more frequent over the next few months. The usual advice applies if you encounter a coyote which is to create as much noise and make yourself as threatening as possible.
Crazy story over the weekend about coyotes chasing a dog and then clawing at and breaking windows on the door of a residence before finally giving up when the owner starting firing a bb gun at the coyotes. The report stated that there were four coyotes in total in this incident in Riverside, IL which is a west of Chicago.
A thanks to the users who have submitted their coyote sightings. Even if you only remember the month and the approximate time of day, we still want to hear from you. Just go the coyote sighting submission page and let us know. Perhaps the Chicago coyote population is far greater in the north or we need some more users from the south side and south suburbs to submit. Thanks!
Apparently the number of deer in Northern Cook County is significantly less this year as the result of a virus that killed up to 70% of the local deer population in this part of Chicago land. This will obviously force the coyotes to look for alternative, not sure if it will also make them more aggressive.
Interesting article in the Chicago Tribune today outlining some of the actions you should take if you come across a coyote. It seems like the general idea was to show no fear by doing such things as running at it with a stick. Easier said than done?