Woman: Coyotes Surrounded Me, My Dogs

Woman claims coyotes were "20 feet away"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Kate Dodge walks Gordy and Madara near Lincoln Park on Tuesday night.

    A Chicago woman says she and her two dogs survived a close encounter Tuesday morning with a trio of coyotes.

    Walking at daybreak, Kate Dodge says she was out with her two dogs, Gordy and Madara, when the three coyotes approached them near the busy intersection of North Clark Street and West Armitage Avenue.

    But while she says seeing coyotes about twice a month is typical, what happened Tuesday was anything but.

    "I've never had any concern before," said Dodge, "Two of the coyotes stopped. The third one came forward and he was probably with one or two feet from us."

    She says one coyote began snapping its jaws at her smaller dog, Gordy, despite her best efforts to scare away the coyote by yelling at it.

    "I made a huge commotion, a huge raucous," she said. "I lost my cool. I lost all composure, and it did not deter at all."

    A break in traffic allowed Dodge and her dogs to run across Clark Street to safety.

    "We ran up the steps to our condo building and when I turned around, the three coyotes were on the sidewalk, looking at us.," she said.

    "With coyote sightings increasing in the city, and given her close encounter, Dodge wants other dog owners to have their guard up.

    "You need to be aware. They are a wild animal. They can be unpredictable," she said.

    The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reports the number of coyotes caught in the metro area jumped from 20 a year in the 1990's to more than 300 a year.

    Recently, coyotes lack food in wooded areas, drawing them near humans and residential areas to feast on garbage or pet food.