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Two Coyotes Relocated From Winnemac Park After People Caught Feeding Them

coyotes-33Two coyotes have been relocated from Winnemac Park by Animal Care and Control after people complained that they were “harassed, followed, and menaced” by the coyotes. Both Alderman Patrick O’Connor’s Office and 311 received multiple phone calls about the situation.

The complaints caused animal care and control to safely move the coyotes to Flint Creek Wildlife in northwest suburban Barrington. But after a more in depth investigation into the matter, it was learned that people were approaching the animals and feeding them. Some dog owners were even allowing their dogs to play with the wild animals off their leashes.

“Feeding wild animals is never a good idea because it alters the natural behavior of the animal and its subsequent interaction with others that they come in contact with,” said Alderman O’Connor in a statement. “This can end in tragic circumstances when people react in a way that is counter to those who have fed or engaged in playful interaction with their pets and result in aggression.”

He further stated that the relocation of the animals, though maybe not always the best choice, was the best option in this case. Winnemac Park, which is located just West of Andersonville at 5100 N. Leavitt St., sits between two schools – Amundsen High School and Chappell Elementary.

Though coyotes usually prefer to live in more natural environments and avoid highly developed areas, they can be found all across the landscape, traveling along railroad lines, and tend to be active more at night.

Just a year ago, a female coyote and her pack were relocated from Berger Park in Edgewater to an area with more space.

Coyotes appear to be thriving in urban areas as most animals maintain healthy body conditions and successfully reproduce,” said Ashley Wurth of the Urban Coyote Project. “It is important to maintain this relationship by not feeding coyotes and by not allowing the animals to become too comfortable around people. If a person comes into close contact with a coyote, the best thing to do is to haze the animal by making loud noise and large movements.”

Because of coyotes’ natural fear and wariness of humans, they rarely approach people, and there have been no reports in the last 25 years of a coyote attack in the Chicago metropolitan area. The biggest conflict between humans and coyotes are coyotes’ occasional attacks on pets.

Wurth says that there are approximately 2,000 coyotes living across the Chicago metropolitan area.


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