Have you seen any coyotes lurking around town recently? If so, you're among other Patch readers who've already sent in their spotting locations.
Now, we're not telling you this to scare you. In fact, according to the Cook County Coyote Project, there hasn't been a documented case of a coyote attacking a human in Illinois since at least 1985—the beginning range of the study. On top of that, there have only been two cases of coyotes killing a human in the U.S. and Canada in modern history.
That said, residents are reporting interactions with local coyotes and we want to keep those numbers from getting any higher.
Coyotes typically come out at night. If you see a coyote during the day, that's indication the animal may be bolder and therefore more likely to attack. If you ever find yourself in this situation, the study recommends you yell, wave your arms and try to throw something at the coyote. Never run away!
Dan Thompson, ecologist at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County said residents along rivers and the Prairie Path are at a slightly higher risk of seeing coyotes as they help wildlife travel.
However, he said, "coyotes are everywhere."
The wild animals are putting down roots in urban environments because humans have given them an "upper hand," Thompson said. "(We've) mand them less fearful of contact with humans... We need to make sure we make them feel uncomfortable if they're around."
While coyotes have been known to attack pets, the Cook County Coyote Project says coyotes do not frequently attack dogs, and when they do, they tend to be smaller dogs. Cats, on the other hand, may represent more alluring targets. Don't lose too much sleep over it, though. The vast majority of a coyote's diet is made up of mice and rats.
Patch asked readers on its Facebook page to tell us where they've seen coyotes in Downers Grove. Readers reported sightings everywhere from local parks to their own backyards.
According to the Downers Grove Police Sgt. Harry Andler, the department has only been notified of two sighings recently.
If a coyote is acting in a threatening manner in Downers Grove, call 9-1-1 or contact the Willowbrook Wildlife Center’s 24-hour automated phone line for advice at 630-942-6200.
Interested in learning more about coyotes?
The Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss St., will host a program called "Urban Coyoyes" from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
During the event, an expert will review coyote lifestyles and how to minimize human-coyote conflict.
Melissa Doornbos, a spokesperson for the Downers Grove Library, said the event was planned months ago at the suggestion of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
If you've spotted a coyote recently, let us know in the comments and we'll add the location to our map.
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