Spotting Chicago's Wild, Wild Life

More and more wild animals are adapting to urban living

"Can't we all just get along?"

It's springtime in Chicago and with the blooming flowers and greening trees, comes another reminder of Nature's Way -- local wildlife.

We're not talking about the bar scene on Lincoln Avenue. No. These are real, live animals which are becoming more visible as the weather turns.

"Seeing wildlife in the city is getting to be more and more common because many types of wildlife are surviving and adapting to urban environments," John Church, extension educator of natural resources of the University of Illinois Extension, told the Sun-Times.

An article in Thursday's edition of the paper features a Northwest Side family who live near a couple of golf courses and a forest preserve.  The Bellinaso family is used to seeing deer, coyotes, raccoons, rabbits and occasionally chickens and roosters in the forest preserve.

While they mostly love sharing their yard and garden with the creatures, Kari Bellinaso admits that she wasn't too keen on sharing her home with a family of raccoons who once got a little too comfortable in her attic.

The key to sharing the urban space harmoniously with the local wildlife is to keep your distance, the paper reports.

"The worst thing you can do is try to catch or pet it or pick up a young one," said the extension's Church.

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