You’ve probably seen recent stories about coyote sightings and incidents. In Palatine, one dog was killed and another injured in a coyote attack that happened while the canines were unattended in the back yard of a home. In Chicago’s Austin neighborhood, people have been telling police about a mystery annimal — possibly a fox or coyote — that’s been “terrorizing” residents there.
Coyote sightings tend to increase between now and February as young leave their parents in search of mates and territories to call their own.
That news comes from a press release from the Forest Preserve District of neighboring DuPage County, but the same holds true here in Kane County. You can read more about coyotes on the Kane County Animal Control website.
Because you might see them more often, here are six tips of keeping yourself safe if you run into a bold or aggressive coyote in your neighborhood.
Like domestic dogs, coyotes test their limits around humans and learn something from each exchange. Unless they associate people with negative experiences, such as loud noises, they can become comfortable walking down streets or sidewalks or near schools, basking in yards or parks, and shortening the distance between themselves and humans.
A bold coyote does not necessarily mean an aggressive coyote, but a coyote that maintains its fear of humans will be less likely to cause problems
- If you’re on a trail that coyotes often use, carry an air horn, whistle, walking stick, cane or other deterrent.
- If you’re followed by a coyote, don’t panic. It’s likely escorting or “shadowing” you through its territory, keeping a calm eye on you to ensure you don’t bother its den.
- If a coyote approaches you, be big, loud and bold. Wave your hands above your head, or hold your jacket wide open. Shout or use a whistle or horn. Don’t turn your back or run; calmly walk away facing the coyote.
- Keep yourself between coyotes and children.
- If a coyote becomes aggressive — snaps, growls or snarls — throw sticks or clumps of dirt at the ground by its feet. Aim for its body if necessary but never its head.
- Report aggressive behavior on private property to your local municipality. Here’s a link to municipalities in Kane County, IL.
SOURCE: “Living With Coyotes” DuPage Forest Preserve District