Coyote Sightings in the City

Over the past several years, coyotes and fox sightings have become more prevalent within the city and surrounding communities. Although you may be shocked to see a coyote running through the city it is not unusual.

The question has been asked as to why the police department will not capture and remove these animals. According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, trying to reduce and control the coyote population will not work. The void created by a coyote’s death or removal will be filled within three to four weeks. Coyotes are also intelligent animals and very difficult to catch in a live trap. Traps successfully used to capture coyotes are “snare” or “leg hold” traps which are dangerous to children as well as adults. Unless an animal has demonstrated aggressiveness toward a human or a domestic pet, the coyote should be left alone. In the event of aggressiveness, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources licensed trapper should be contacted to address the problem animal.

If you observe any animal that appears to be injured, sick or displaying aggressive behavior, please call the City of North Chicago Police Department at (847) 596-8774 you will go through the administrative prompts and once you get to the dispatch center ask for police to respond.


Facts about coyotes

  • Coyotes are common throughout most of the region.
  • As a top predator, coyotes are performing an important role in the region. Increasing evidence indicates that coyotes assist with controlling deer and Canada goose populations.
  • Most coyotes are feeding on typical prey items, such as rodents and rabbits and generally avoid trash.
  • Coyotes to date do not pose a serious human health risk. In general, the coyote population appears to be relatively healthy.
  • Coyotes removed through control efforts or other causes are quickly replaced. Successful management programs also include public education and outside consulting.
  • Some types of repellents, such as electronic devices employing lights and sound, may be useful for preventative control of coyotes.


What are Some Steps to Avoid Conflict with Coyotes?

Conflicts with coyotes can be avoided by taking simple precautions or by altering behaviors to avoid confrontation.

  • Do not feed the coyotes. Many people unintentionally feed coyotes by leaving pet food or garbage out at night or having large bird feeders. Coyotes are usually not interested in bird food, but bird feeders often attract rodents, especially squirrels, which then attract coyotes.
  • Do not let pets run loose. If coyotes live nearby, do not let pets run loose, especially domestic cats. When hiking in urban parks, keep dogs on leashes.
  • Do not run from a coyote. When you encounter a coyote, shout or throw something in its direction.
  • Repellents or fencing may help.
  • Report aggressive, fearless coyotes immediately. When a coyote fails to exhibit fear of humans or acts aggressive by barking or growling in the yard or playground, the animal must be reported as soon as possible to the appropriate officials—usually an animal control officer or police officer.


Coexisting with Coyotes

Some tips on living near coyotes:

  • Don’t feed any wild animals such as raccoon or deer, which encourages coyotes as well. Garbage should be stored in secure containers. Do not put meat scraps in compost piles.
  • Remove bird feeders and outside pet food containers. Coyotes will prey upon small mammals that are attracted to birdseed and pet food.
  • Don’t allow pets to run free and keep a watchful eye on them. Walk dogs on a leash, especially at night. Keep cats indoors at all times. Do not let pets out at night unless accompanied by a person. Don’t leave cat or dog food outside.
  • Clear wood piles, brush piles and other potential cover for coyotes. Secure garbage in areas where coyotes can’t access it; keep yards clean of refuse and brush.
  • Don’t leave small children outside unattended.
  • Reinforce the coyotes’ natural fear of humans by turning on outside lights, making loud noises, throwing rocks and so forth. Be aggressive in your actions. Although the response may not be immediate, eventually the coyotes will flee.
  • Consider fencing your yard.
  • Encourage your neighbors to follow the same advice.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call the City of North Chicago Police Department at (847) 596-8710.