Small-Pet Safety Advised After Coyote Sightings
West Chicago sightings alarm some residents; city hopes information will calm fears, encourage informed actions to protect cats and dogs.
Coyote sightings have prompted officials in neighboring West Chicago to start a public education campaign to alleviate concerns among some residents of the city and give them the information they need to better protect their small pets.
The bottom line, the city’s release states: Do not leave small pets outside unattended. Reported attacks on humans appear to be rare.
The city is directing people to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website, which offers information that may help allay panic should one see a coyote in their neighborhood.
According to a release the city issued Wednesday, coyotes resemble small German shepherds, but they carry their tails below the level of their backs instead of curved upward, as dogs do. The coyote’s upper body is typically light gray to dull yellow, although coloration can vary from mostly black to nearly all gray or white. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources offers a more specific description on its website.
Coyotes are common throughout Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said they are most common in areas with a mixture of farmland, woodland and grassland. But they also inhabit suburban and even urban areas, where they are more likely to come into conflict with domestic cats and small dogs.
Because coyotes are predators and will be attracted to areas that encourage small animals and birds, one way to deter them from entering residential backyards is to keep the ground clear of pet food or wild animal feed.
On its website, the city also has posted an informational video, The Urban Coyote, which residents are invited to view.
For further information, contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at 1-217-782-6302 or www.dnr.state.il.us using the search word coyote.
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