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Large Coyote Spotted in Oak Lawn

Reader captures coyote walking down the middle of 93rd Street on Sunday morning.

Patch reader Ed Berg sent these photos of a large coyote that he spotted in the vicinity of Oak Lawn Community High School on Sunday morning.

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The coyote was seen frolicking around the high school campus around 9 a.m. before taking a stroll down 93rd Street. Ed’s sighting is one of dozens reported by Patch readers in the Oak Lawn-area.

Our readers shared some amazing stories when we posted Ed’s photos on our Facebook page. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County estimates the 2012 coyote population in the low thousands, which means they’re around.

We can’t stress enough to keep an eye on your pets, especially small dogs and cats.

Here are some coyote facts and myths from the Cook County Urban Coyote Research Project to help us cohabitate peacefully with these Ghosts of the Suburbs.

  • Keep your pooch on a leash when walking in the forest preserves or other area frequented by coyotes. You may want to carry a big stick or mace to fend off an attack. Making a lot of noise scares them off too.
  • You may also want to re-think letting your poodle tinkle unattended in your fenced yard. Coyotes have been known to jump over them. The best fences for keeping coyotes out are at least six feet tall and have a roll bar on top.
  • Make sure no one in the neighborhood is attracting coyotes by leaving pet food outdoors and eliminate wildlife feeding. Food left outside may attract coyotes, which may then attack your cat or dog.
  • You also don’t want to feed coyotes, either intentionally or accidentally. Coyotes that are fed in residential neighborhoods can lose their fear of people.
  • 142 coyote attacks on humans have been reported in 14 United States, and two cases of coyotes killing humans (United States and Canada) in modern history. There are no documented cases of coyotes attacking humans in Illinois or the Chicago area.
  • If you encounter a coyote don’t run. Be an alpha dog. Yell, wave your arms, throw something at it (your big walking stick) and howl if you wish. The coyote will leave you and/or your dog alone. I’ve done this. It works.
  • If you see a coyote during the daytime, like Ed Berg’s sighting on Sunday morning, it may have become habituated to humans (and more be more likely to attack). Exercise caution when encountering a coyote or any wild animal. It’s not a big doggie.

Source: Cook County Urban Coyote Research Project

The Cook County Urban Coyote Research Project is a great read and has a lot of information about urban coyotes. We also recommend the Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s “Coyote FAQ” page.

If you run into what you think might be considered a "nuisance" coyote, don't hesitate to call Cook County Animal Control at 708-974-6046. (Let us know how that works out for you.)

Have you spotted coyotes in the Oak Lawn area? Tell us where in the comments.

DIANE HICKEY February 18, 2013 at 02:19 PM
The Friday before Christmas, 11:00 am, I saw one walking down the middle of the street. It was near 105th and Mason. It came from the Nature preserve on 105th street.
Erin February 18, 2013 at 02:35 PM
Thank you for the tips. I also wish this article would have encouraged people to leave it alone more. It's mating season for cayotes and it is just doing what comes natural. I would hope a Patch article wouldn't incite animal cruelty within its readers by it doesn't hurt to remind people this animal has done nothing wrong.
Cheri L. Ahner February 18, 2013 at 03:15 PM
About 3 years ago, on Halloween, I saw a coyote in the next door neighbor's yard. I didn't tell anyone because I wasn't positive what I was seeing. There were no reports of such at the time. I live in that same area but come on, 3 years? Where has he been?
Karra Kestian February 18, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Last winter our floodlight came on in the backyard and we looked out and there was a beautiful well fed coyote, we didn't see any rabbits in our neighborhood in the spring. One of the kids had left our gate open on our six foot fence, when the light went on the coyote ran toward the back of the yard by the garage and evidentely got on some chairs and went over the fence that was the last time we saw it.
Dodes1 February 18, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Yes! There needs to be something done about the Squirells. They are a menace and make the biggest damn mess in both my front and back yard.
Colleen February 18, 2013 at 06:29 PM
I live in Oak Lawn and have no shortages of bunnies at my house!
tmarc75 February 18, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Crystal Vuletic February 18, 2013 at 08:04 PM
We get them all the time in my part of oak lawn (behind chicago ridge mall), there is a small wooded area near Oak Park Ave & 99th St and they seem to follow the train tracks over here. Several of my neighbors have also seen them.
Sam Debutcher February 18, 2013 at 09:50 PM
I saw one near 111th & Kostner. When I yelled at it it wrote a 10 page letter denouncing Mayor Heilmann. It was big, fat and stupid looking and i could swear had hair plugs.
Richard February 18, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Agreed. I've seen coyotes too, and I don't think it's any big deal. I admit, I might think differently if I had a small dog or cat that was left outdoors. And it's sad if they're killing rabbits and squirrels, but we think of those animals as "cute," and probably some people see them as a nuisance.
Susan February 18, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Keep your pooch on a leash whether there is a coyote or not........IT'S THE LAW!!! If you run into me and my pack and your dog is not on a leash.......I feel sorry for you!! And remember coyotes are here because of humans.......do not feed them!
Dr. Linda Lorincz Shelton February 18, 2013 at 10:29 PM
I have not seen coyote, but I have seen the most beautiful fox around 101st and Kolin and the remains of rabbits and duck he killed.
Bob Laird February 18, 2013 at 11:44 PM
You better hope that coyotes don't read the patch, you'll have company real soon.
jmdeunger February 19, 2013 at 12:55 AM
We get them near Phil's Pizza too. It's nice because they keep the outdoor cat population low too!
jmdeunger February 19, 2013 at 01:00 AM
We have see, the coyotes, their pups and red foxes in our area for 4 years. They have been stalking and eating cats by us. There are plenty of rabbits here. My kids and I watch them stalk, surround and attack cats roaming at night.
Susan February 19, 2013 at 03:09 AM
There wouldn't be so many feral cats if people would stop feeding them! Spay and neuter pet cats if you are going to let them roam. Help reduce the prey and maybe reduce the # of coyotes and foxes in suburbia!
Rudy February 19, 2013 at 05:06 AM
I've seen them on a few occasions, at the Oak Lawn HS baseball field during the afternoon and at 91st & Oak Park at night.
Susan February 19, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Isn't this sad?! Wild animals coming into cilvilization and people actually think it is "cute". This isn't cute. STOP FEEDING THE WILDLIFE! They need to relearn to fend for themselves. Don't blame the coyote when the eat your pet or child!
Dodes1 February 19, 2013 at 01:30 PM
why would you feel sorry for someone that doesnt have their dog on a leash? From what you are saying, I get the sense that your dogs would go crazy, thus showing that you cannot simply control your canine.
tmarc75 February 19, 2013 at 03:56 PM
Buttloads of rabbits eating my flowers every year at my house!
Susan February 19, 2013 at 07:59 PM
I would feel sorry because they are not taking proper care of their pet! No animal is 100% perdictable! My dogs are well behaved but I call the police and report all dogs off lead. However, regardless if my dogs or someone else's dogs go crazy (which could happen even with my dog if your dog does not know it's place and how to great another properly) it is still the law.....all dogs on public property need to be leashed. Yes this means in front of your house also. You also have to respect people who are afraid of dogs. Not everyone likes or is comfortable around dogs. Just put your dog on a leash and think of others instead of just your self!.
tmarc75 February 19, 2013 at 09:06 PM
Don't you mean civilization coming into the wild?
MM February 20, 2013 at 10:40 AM
I wish the coyotes would go after the gangbangers and leave our kitties alone.
MM February 20, 2013 at 10:41 AM
@Bob Laird- Funny comment! Me likes.
dme February 24, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Is it illegal to kill a coyote? Why doesn't the Village put a bounty on their heads to start getting rid of some of these dangerous animals? No one has a problem controlling and killing off the deer population. Why not coyotes?
Susan February 25, 2013 at 03:52 AM
Just what we need.......a bunch of crazy, money hungry people running around shooting @ coyotes!!! Humans are the reason they are here in the first place!
dme February 25, 2013 at 06:06 AM
Better than having a coyote attack one of our children in a park or school yard. Someone posted that one has been seen around Phils Pizza. That's right next to a grammar school/church! What do you think is done to the docile deer in the forest preserves when they become overpopulated? Coyotes likely are rabid and pose a danger to adults, children & small pets. If you don't react just so when you encounter one they will attack. Maybe not a bounty but certainly we need to find a way to capture & put a good lot of them down. You see that they've become a nuisance every other day on the news. Time to do something about it.
Susan February 25, 2013 at 12:43 PM
And what are you going to do if one of these "bounty hunters " accidentily shoots your child or a few childre. This should be handled by authorities. The coyotes should be trapped somehow (which could also endanger other wildlife) and relocated.
dme March 02, 2013 at 09:35 PM
Same could happen when the authorities/or others hunt the overpopulation of deer. Bounty Hunting was said in heat of the moment. So chill....Thats why i said 'we need to find a way to capture & put a good lot of them down'. Relocating them is not going to solve the overpopulation of these wild animals.
Working Stiff October 04, 2013 at 11:10 PM
Saw one in my backyard last night, pretty big, near 103rd and karlov


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