Increasingly, coyotes are being spotted here, in Chicago proper and the suburbs. Today's Tribune has a front page article about one guy, Rob Erickson, who has been making a living trapping and sometimes killing coyotes that have killed housepets. Coyotes have been caught in a number of suburbs, like Arlington Heights and Glen Ellyn, and blogger Vikki, a former Chicagoan, pointed out that she spotted one when she lived here. A few days later, a coyote, maybe the same one, was caught in Lincoln Park Zoo.
According to this article this is a phenomenon across North America. The article says:
- Coyotes are intelligent and extraordinarily difficult to trap, or even spot
- Urban (and suburban) coyotes are keeping the Snow Goose population in check by stealing eggs out of their nests, reducing the Snow Goose population's annual increase from the 10 to 20% it was running, to 1 to 2% a year
- Scientists have trapped and put tracking collars on over 200 coyotes in the Chicago area
- Urban coyotes can cover 50 square miles in a night
- That urban coyotes generally live much longer than their rural relatives
- That many people are unintentionally feeding coyotes-- that they often eat food left outside for pets (are you reading this, all the idiots who leave bread out for the pigeons in Welles Park?)
- That coyotes pose no threat to humans-- that in fact, they strive to avoid contact with humans
- That there are no parts of the Chicago metro area that they didn't find coyotes living in
I saw an article in Chicago Magazine a couple of years ago about this, but couldn't find it in their archives. It stated a lot of what this article stated, and pointed out the futility of trapping and/or killing coyotes-- they are territorial, and a new coyote just moves in on the vacated territory.
Roadrunner was not available for comment.