For the past several years, the Public Safety Department has worked closely with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Cook County Forest Preserve District and Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control to understand and address the aggressive behavior of coyotes.
Coyotes have been in the Glencoe area for many years. Within the last few years, however, each new generation of coyote has become less frightened by humans. A probable explanation, according to Dr. Stan Gehrt, Principal Investigator of the Cook County Coyote Project and Chair of the Center for Wildlife Research at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, is the increased feeding of wildlife in our area. To help prevent coyote encounters residents are encouraged to do the following:
- Always walk your dog on a leash and keep cats indoors. Allowing pets to run loose increases the chance of a coyote encounter. For their own protection, dogs should be leashed even on our lakefront.
- Feed your pets inside. Do not keep pet food outdoors where it might attract coyotes or other wildlife, this includes not feeding birds, raccoons, squirrels of other wildlife that coyotes prey upon.
- Pick up fallen fruit from trees and cover compost piles.
- Clear dense weeds and brush to remove shelter for rodents, which attract coyotes. A recent study of coyotes in Cook County found that small rodents were the primary food source for urban coyotes.1
- Do not feed wildlife—feed/seed will attract coyotes or other small animals that coyotes prey upon.
- Keep trash bins tightly closed.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around your home.
- If you encounter a coyote, shout, clap, or throw a small object in its direction. This may condition the coyotes to avoid people.
- Teach children to respect wildlife and not to approach ANY animal.
If you experience problems with coyotes, see them in your neighborhood, or have any questions regarding coyotes, or have other animal related concerns, please call Community Service Officer Katie Sweeney at (847) 461-1148.
Residents are also welcome to report sightings directly to Scientific Wildlife Management.
For additional coyote information, please visit this Living with Wildlife page from the University of Illinois.1
Image source: Getty Images