In the May 10 edition [Inside Report], the animal control officer (unnamed) states that coyotes are “vicious animals” that “will tear you apart.” As a wildlife biologist who studies coyotes, I feel the need to clarify. Coyotes are native to Illinois, and have lived in close proximity to humans with few problems. Yes, they may eat free-range cats, but not humans. In fact, they are terrified of us.

To keep it that way, don’t feed them, and don’t attempt to approach them. You may be surprised to see them, but they are actually around us all the time, and don’t normally come out during our most active hours. Attempts to eradicate coyotes are a waste of time and money, as many long-term programs out west can attest. If you see a coyote, and it frightens you, wave your arms over your head and shout, and you’ll achieve the pleasure of watching a wild animal run as fast as it can in the opposite direction.

Cecilia Hennessy

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