Monday, December 15, 2008

Coyotes getting brazen in Orland Park region ...

I was driving down 82nd Avenue near the Silver Lakes Country Club heading south to 151st Street when I looked to the west and saw a pack of coyotes looking startled, I guess. They stood out with somewhat orangish coats although that may have looked that way from the bright snow they were standing on that covered the entire golf course.

Coyotes are everywhere and the Village and the Police Department are doing everything they can to deal with them, but it would help if we didn't feed them or put out food for other wild animals that end up on the Coyote's menus, says Orland Park Police Chief Timothy McCarthy.

Coincidentally, McCarthy said he was planning to address the issue in the next issue of the Orland Park Public when I asked him about the problem and how big of a problem it is.

"We have many reports of coyotes and see them often ourselves. They go where the food is and we are over run with rabbits squirrels etc. We have also had reports of people feeding them and have an article that will appear in the next 'Public' about this issue. There are no reports of coyotes ever biting a human in the state of Illinois other than when people tried to feed them. The coyotes do not know the difference between the food and the hand giving it to them. It’s all food to them," McCarthy wrote back in a email.

"We occasionally attempt to trap them (however they cannot be relocated and must be euthanized) when we get substantiated reports that they have attacked a domestic animal or have come close to humans which are generally unusual. It appears to be caused by the fact that some people are feeding them and they learn this new behavior of going up to humans."

Watch for Chief McCarthy to be on my radio show in the coming weeks to talk about this and other topics. He is one of the most responsive leaders we have in the Southwest suburbs and region.

-- Ray Hanania

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