For others, coyotes have left their paw print on the Chicago suburbs and residents believe the necessary precuations need to be taken to peacefully coexist with the animals.
Agnes Jury said they lost their outdoor cat to a coyote in December in their fenced-in yard in Geneva, according to Jury's comment left on the Geneva Patch Facebook page. Jury noted coyotes hang out in the area of Good Templar Park and hang out at Moore Park soccer field.
"And they have also followed me and my two big dogs on trails off Fabian. All I can say is: survival of the fittest," Jury said on the Geneva Patch Facebook page.
Jury's comments, as well as several comments regarding coyotes' presence in Geneva, was in response to a link to a Wheaton Patch article posted this past week, which noted coyote attacks in the town.
Geneva Patch asked readers on Facebook on Jan. 28: Have you seen or heard of any recent coyote attacks in Geneva? Many responses to that question can be viewed above.
On Jan.28, Wheaton Patch wrote that a little more than a month after Wheaton officials warned residents to take precautions after coyotes grabbed two small dogs and fatally injured a third, another resident reported the loss of a dog to coyotes.
Allison Jacobs, a Wheaton teacher and mother of two, last week wrote to Wheaton Patch to report that her dog had become the fourth coyote fatality since November.Here are some useful tips provided from the city of Geneva on ways to make your neighborhood undesirable to coyotes:
Q: I thought coyotes were wild animals. Why are they in my neighborhood?
A: They are wild animals. However, as area open lands have decreased during the past three decades and human population has increased, coyotes have not only survived but have adjusted. While they still make their homes in wooded and open areas, they have ventured into surrounding neighborhoods primarily to search for food.
Q: Are coyotes a danger to my family?
A: Most coyotes are leery of people and tend to stay away from humans. However, like any wild animal, they can be unpredictable and dangerous. While attacks on humans are very rare, young children should never be left unattended. Coyotes pose a significant threat to small pets.
Q: What happens if I encounter a coyote?
A: If you see or are approached by a coyote, you should exhibit caution. Do not run away. Instead, yell, wave your arms, and/or throw an object at the animal. It is a good idea to carry a walking stick. In the case of a coyote attack on a human, call 911.
Q: What can I do to make my home and neighborhood undesirable to coyotes?
A: The biggest tip is do not feed the coyotes either intentionally or by accident. About 90 percent of a coyote’s diet is small mammals, but they also will eat birds, snakes, insects, fish, fruit and vegetables. They can be attracted to bird and squirrel feeders, bread that is fed to ducks and geese, pet food that is left outside and other unintentional food sources. Therefore:
- Keep pet food and food and water dishes inside, especially at night.
- Keep grills and barbecues clean. Even the smallest food scraps may attract a coyote.
- Do not keep garbage cans outside if possible or at the very least, make sure the containers have tight-fitting lids.
- Make sure ripe fruit and vegetables are picked from gardens.
- Stop feeding other wildlife or at the very least, do not allow spillage to accumulate outside of the feeders.
- When coyotes find these types of food sources in residential areas, they may lose their fear of humans and eventually test both people and pets as prey.
Q: How do I keep my family pets safe?
A: It is important that dogs, cats and other pets, especially those smaller in size, not be left unwatched while outside. Pet doors also should be secured and remember that “invisible fencing” is ineffective on coyotes. Coyotes can also be attracted to free-ranging domestic and feral cats. Domestic cats should be kept inside.
Q: Where can I get more information?
A: There is excellent resource information on coyotes at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.