With an estimated 30,000 coyotes currently living in Illinois, like it or not, coyotes are a permanent fixture in Oak Park. Seeing a coyote does not necessarily mean a dangerous situation for humans or domestic animals. If approached by a coyote, do not run — make yourself appear larger by yelling, standing up straight, clapping your hands and waving your arms. You can even throw something at the coyote. Your actions not only will scare the coyote, but will discourage it from approaching humans in the future. In the unlikely event that a coyote is aggressive or shows its fangs, growls or approaches, get to safety and contact Village Animal Control at 708.358.5680 to provide details including the date, time and address of the event. In the meantime, discourage coyotes from being attracted to your property by following these tips:
- Do not feed coyotes. This means limiting unintentional outdoor food sources like pet food and ripe fruit. Bird food, for example, attracts rodents, which coyotes feed upon.
- Do not leave small pets — especially cats — unattended outside.
- Install a fence at least four feet high to prevent coyotes from entering your yard.
- Keep garbage stored securely. While coyotes are not likely to eat garbage, they may be to be attracted to the rodents that do.
For more detailed information on living with coyotes and other wildlife, visit web.extension.illinois.edu/wildlife.