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Coyote Awareness: Best Practices for Living with Wildlife

CoyoteCoyote Awareness 

Coyotes have been in the Glencoe area for many years and they are expected to remain here for the foreseeable future. Best practices in coyote management suggest encouraging coexistence through public education, while also promoting ways to help limit coyote habituation. The Urban Coyote Research Project reports that number one most effective way to prevent coyote encounters is to remove their food source in domestic areas (i.e. only feed your pets inside, do not feed wildlife). 

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 behavior of coyotes. While aggressive behavior does occur from time-to-time, studies indicate that there have been no reported coyote attacks on humans in Illinois in over 30 years. In Glencoe specifically, there have been two confirmed coyote attacks on dogs over the course of the last 10 years and in both instances, the dogs were either left unattended or unleashed.

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 or 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.
  • 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