A Chicago suburb is hiring trappers to curb its coyote population after numerous sightings and even attacks on small dogs were reported in the area.
The Grayslake Police Department said it has contacted area trappers to help control the growing population, but it is also asking residents to report their coyote sightings.
Although coyotes often stay hidden and travel along established routes, the police department said, they will sometimes “venture into more populated areas to obtain food.”
“The Village of Grayslake will keep citizens appraised of coyote issues as they unfold,” Chief Phil Perlini wrote on Facebook.
Police have asked that residents report any coyote sightings to the village’s “request for service system” or (847) 223-8515.
Grayslake isn’t the only Chicago-area suburb to experience a coyote issue this season.
Last month, Hanover Park police warned residents of coyotes that look like “some sort of ‘zombie’ dog.”
The department says there is an increase in the disease in urban coyote populations which makes the normally nocturnal coyotes come out during the day. Infected coyotes will appear “mangy,” often hairless and haggard.
There hasn’t been a single coyote bite or attack on humans reported in northeastern Illinois, according to Cook County’s urban coyote ecology and management website.
Here are some tips from Grayslake Police on what you should do if you see a coyote:
• Stay away from any observed coyote. They are wild, unpredictable, and dangerous.
• Eliminate food sources for animals that are prey for a coyote (i.e. loose garbage, garbage bags, open food, wildlife, bird or squirrel food).
• Do not feed stray, wild, or feral animals.
• Do not leave small pets out of the home unleashed or unsupervised.
• Keep all fenced areas closed and hopefully inaccessible to coyotes.
• Report any coyote sightings via the request for service web site https://www.egovlink.com/grayslake/action.asp.
• Report any aggressive animal behavior via 911 for possible police intervention (although we are not trained in animal trapping, we may scare an aggressive animal from the neighborhood).