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Coyotes Caught In Lincoln Square, More Could Be On The Loose

By  Patty Wetli and Justin Breen | February 4, 2017 11:48am | Updated on February 6, 2017 8:15am

 Animal Care and Control is monitoring Winnemac Park, where a coyote was trapped on Friday.
Animal Care and Control is monitoring Winnemac Park, where a coyote was trapped on Friday.
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Flickr Creative Commons/Ron Perrillo

LINCOLN SQUARE — Animal Care and Control trapped a pair of coyotes in Winnemac Park and is monitoring the area for more of the wild critters.

The first coyote was "safely tranquilized" and transferred to a sanctuary on Friday, Ald. Pat O'Connor (40th) informed neighbors via email.

Crews were expected "to monitor the situation going forward," O'Connor said. "We are committed to resolving this situation."

On Saturday morning, a second coyote was reportedly tranquilized and captured in the park by Animal Care and Control, Geoff Johnson, who was walking in the park with his wife and dog at approximately 9:30 a.m., told DNAinfo.

"My wife saw the coyote walking sluggishly south toward the center of the park where it collapsed not far from us," Johnson said via email.

"The [Animal Care and Control] vans quickly arrived, put the coyote on a stretcher, and loaded it into one of the vans," he said.

Animal Care and Control did not respond to a request for more information.

Winnemac Park, 5100 N. Leavitt St., abuts the campuses of Amundsen High School and Chappell Elementary, and is popular with dog walkers.

Neighbor Mike Baldi reported seeing as many as three coyotes at once running around the park, sometimes inside Amundsen's football stadium.

Last week, Baldi said he and his fiancee encountered a coyote near the Ravenswood Metra tracks.

"It actually came down from the hill and started to follow us," he told DNAinfo via email. "It was about 40-50 pounds, so large enough that we got a little worried.... It went away after some yelling, but I've never really seen a wild animal that comfortable just walking up to people."

Baldi said he used to see the coyotes only in the early morning or late evening, but the animals have been increasingly visible in the park at all hours of the day.

According to Chris Anchor, senior wildlife biologist for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, coyotes are becoming bolder near humans.

While they're not likely to attack, they also won't run away, Anchor said.

Notably, coyotes do not hibernate in the winter and instead require more activity because they have to find more food, he said.

Estimates place Cook County's coyote population at 1,500 to 2,000, and the animals are found in every city neighborhood, according to Anchor.

Some of those coyotes travel as much as three miles a day, mostly at night and typically in straight lines, Anchor said. During the day, they try to find elevated areas with high grass.

When it comes to urban wildlife — e.g., deer, coyote and foxes — Animal Care and Control typically only responds when the animal is injured or poses a threat to the public, Ivan Capifali, the commission's deputy director, previously told DNAinfo.

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