BREAKING NEWS: Coyote attacks and kills in the Palatine area
Numerous urban coyote attacks have pierced fear into the hearts of many residents in suburban Palatine. The city is now seeking action after hearing many complaints from its citizens of coyote sightings and even the deaths of pets.
After several attacks and sightings in the Palatine area, the township board has just voted to hold a seminar for concerned residents.
According to Patch writer Dick Quagliano, 1 small dog was killed just feet away from his owner’s front door in Plum Grove Estates.
Stories swept the media recently when a woman was killed by an urban coyote.
Coyotes causing the death of beloved Chicago area pets is nothing new; but the fear that coyotes may harm humans is growing according to many suburban residents. Carol Stream, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton and Inverness are just a small group of townships facing a problem.
In the wealthy northwest suburb of Inverness is refusing to let homeowner Derrick Czapala build a fence after urban coyotes have caused a death.
Czapala’s miniature Doberman pinscher, ironically named “Killer” was snatched by a coyote and brought into a nearby wooded area. A second coyote was also involved, biting Czapala’s other dog on the leg.
Czapala had received an urgent call at work from his daughter’s nanny who told him about the coyote attacks.
According to the Chicago Tribune, he rushed home and found his dog still alive, suffering from 40 to 50 puncture wounds all over his body.
“I don’t want (a fence) for the look of it,” Czapala said. “My daughter has not been outside since it happened. I’m walking the dog on a leash, constantly looking over my shoulder. I pay $18,000 in property taxes for 2 1/2 acres, and what’s the point if I can’t go outside?”
The family pet did not survive, and his other dog had to receive urgent medical care including staples in her leg.
Inverness Police Chief Bob Haas offered a public statement saying he was not aware of the incident and that there have been no reported coyote attacks since the local police department was started.
Inverness Village Administrator Curt Carver also offered a statement in regards to Czapala wanting to build a fence in the high-class neighborhood. In the statement, Carver cited a fence ban that has been in place for several years, promoting a more open and rural feel.
Coyote sightings have become common in the ChicagoLand area as land is being used to build homes and businesses leaving little area for wildlife.
One lifelong suburban Carol Stream resident, Diane Hines is very concerned with coyotes in her neighborhood.
“I have seen a coyote two blocks from my house. You wouldn’t think that wild animals like coyotes would be roaming our streets; but the fact is they are.”
While studies show that coyotes pose limited threats to humans, problems can start when people feed urban coyotes. Many Chicagoans do this unintentionally by placing trash out early or leaving tempting pet food bowls outside.
While coyotes pose little threat to humans, there have been documented cases of coyote attacks.
Perhaps the most famous coyote killing to hit the news was the case of Taylor Mitchell. Mitchell was a 19-year-old Toronto singer whose debut album was released in March 2009. Mitchell died in a Nova Scotia hospital after being mauled by coyotes in Cape Breton Park in Toronto.
News reports at the time quoted Don Anderson, a Nova Scotia biologist with that province’s Natural Resources Department, saying the coyote attacks in the area are uncommon, but they do happen from time to time.
An Ontario girl was bitten on the same trail as the late Toronto singer several years ago.
Ethel Merry, owner of the nearby Cheticamp Motel, said the incident was unfortunate but she wasn’t surprised to hear about a deadly coyote attack. Citing that her motel is about 10 kilometers from the entrance of the Toronto Park but she often sees coyotes.
One study of coyotes in Chicago found that urban coyotes survive longer than their rural cousins. A coyote living in urban Chicago has a 60-percent chance of surviving for one year, while a rural coyote has a 30 percent chance of living for another year.
Coyotes prefer to hunt alone, but often form packs in order to defend territories. Roughly half of all urban coyotes live in packs that consist of five to six adults and their pups that were born that year.
These urban packs establish territories of about five to 10 square miles – a fraction of the area that a rural coyote pack would cover.
Population densities of coyotes in urban areas are usually three to six times higher than rural populations.
Hines said, “I just think about my 12 year old daughter and her friends walking in the parks of Carol Stream. There have been many people that have seen coyotes in Armstrong Park. Reading and hearing about deadly coyote attacks like the young girl in Toronto should really get people in the area thinking.”
“It just really is always at the back of my mind.”added Hines, “You or your kids could just be out for a walk and you just never know.”
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