Major Food Source Dries up For Local Coyotes

Virus depletes deer population 70 percent

Wednesday, Jan 2, 2013  |  Updated 10:52 AM CDT
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Coyotes will have a little less to eat in Cook County this winter.

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Coyotes may be scrounging a little harder when it comes to finding food in Cook County this winter.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Cook County Forest Preserve District is taking a close look at local coyote populations after a major food source was depleted when a virus killed up to 70 percent of the deer population in northern Cook County earlier this year.

With less deer carcasses available, coyotes will be looking for other items to eat, such as plants, rodents and garbage, wildlife officials say.

The situation will be compounded if the winter weather turns out to be severe.

Coyote sightings are becoming more common in urban areas, with the animals showing up in heavily-populated areas such as Wrigleville and even at a Loop Metra station in 2011.

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