Residents Urged to Watch Pets During Coyote Mating Season

Northern Illinois residents may witness an increase in coyote sightings over the next few months.

The village of Wheaton issued an alert this week warning residents of an influx of coyotes during their mating season, which can last through April.

The alert encouraged residents, especially pet owners, to eliminate outdoor food sources such as accessible garbage or pet food because coyotes are creatures of habit and will return to areas where they are successful.

Although pets are not a main part of a coyote's diet, pet owners should keep a watchful eye on their animals as coyotes will often go for easy prey, the alert said.

Coyotes tend to feed during daytime hours in the winter months since they often struggle to find an adequate food source, according to Naperville Animal Control.

Those who see a coyote should attempt a "hazing" technique , which includes making loud noises or threatening gestures, the alert said.

The alert comes after a number of recent coyote attacks on dogs in the Chicago area.

Coyote sightings should be reported to town officials to help alert residents and prevent future attacks.

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