Have you heard that eerie howl or scream in the night? It's likely a coyote. It could be digging into your garbage or on the prowl for easy prey.
When New Lenox Patch Facebook readers were asked Saturday if they had recently encountered coyotes, more than 1,200 people saw the post. Thank you to the many Facebook followers who told us where they had spotted coyotes and to those who left comments or suggestions related to their experiences with coyotes.
The story includes a map of coyote sightings along with a variety of suggestions and opinions about the wild life in our midst.
- This interactive map shows where coyotes have been spotted recently.
- Click on an icon for more details about what
Since New Lenox is nestled in between large parcels of open space, the Will County Forest Preserve and natural wetlands, the coyotes are as much a part of the community as we are.
- "I am on Cooper and Ash and we have them all the time. They walk down the middle of the street at night."
- "Last night they were loud by my house on Illinois Highway just west of Spencer (Road.) We hear them in the backyard from time to time, but we were in the font room and they sounded like they were right outside the window."
- "Saw two last night running on Illinois Highway heading into the subdivision on Lake Street."
- "No problems, but they are definitely in and around Palmer Ranch (subdivision). All summer and fall they were very loud around 1 or 2 in the morning. We are on Tanaga Basin with our backyard facing east. Last New Years Day there were two prowling right behind our fence."
- "They have been here ever since we moved in 10 years ago. I woke up to see one walking down the middle of our street in our newly build subdivision at 2:30 a.m. I'm not saying where we live because I don't want someone to come looking for them to shoot them. We've had no problems."
- "Please watch your pets. Coyotes will jump fences at least five feet high maybe more…"
- "A pack will act like they are playing with dogs to try and get them to follow and then they attack. We've seen them walking the CN train tracks and especially over by Spencer School."
- "Nasty critters. We have them here and they love to attack cats, small dogs, etc. Be careful; they are aggressive."
New Lenox Police Chief Bob Sterba offers advice and tips in dealing with coyotes
New Lenox Police Chief Bob Sterba, in a previous story about coyotes, said these animals are not causing significant problems.
Here are some key tips from the village's news release:
- One of the worst things residents can do is provide food for coyotes as they should never be encouraged to interact with humans and domestic pets.
- It is highly unlikely that the coyote will attack a human. There have been sixteen coyote bites in Illinois in the last 30 years and most of these happened when people tried to feed these wild animals by hand.
- If approached by a coyote never run and never turn your back. Back away slowly toward your house, car or any type of shelter that offers protection and safety. Should a coyote walk toward you as you’re backing away, or if it growls and its hair stands up on its back, yell, scream, and wave your hands to appear larger than you are.
- If while walking your dog a coyote approaches, it more than likely wants your pet and not you. If your pet is small, pick it up immediately and follow the tactics above to scare the coyote. Air horns have been known to scare coyotes.
- Whenever you let your dog out, go outside with the dog or keep a very close eye on your family pet.
- Coyotes are in the New Lenox area because they’ve discovered food sources. Residents should keep their garbage cans sealed.