Coyote Sightings

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Coyote Sightings

A coyote roams an Irvine neighborhood on Monday, August  21, 2017.  (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

A coyote roams an Irvine neighborhood on Monday, August 21, 2017. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Staff Photographer

A coyote roams an Irvine neighborhood on Monday, August 21, 2017. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Staff Photographer

Staff Photographer

A coyote roams an Irvine neighborhood on Monday, August 21, 2017. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Charlie Desnoyers, Staff Writer

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      On January 9th, 2020, a young boy was bitten multiple times by a coyote near Lincoln Park in Chicago. Later that day, a 32-year-old man was bitten by a coyote in the city’s Streeterville neighborhood. While coyote sightings have increased, it is still rare for you to see one, let alone get attacked by one. However, you should get used to seeing them as they won’t be going away any time soon. 

     There are multiple reasons why coyote sightings have increased throughout the years. The first is we are destroying their habitat. An average habitat of a coyote will take up about 2-10 square miles. When this area is taken up, they will be more likely to start wandering into more urban areas to look for food. However, do not worry about seeing a whole pack of coyotes walking into your neighborhood. Solo coyotes have a larger range than in a pack, which is why we usually only see one coyote wandering around. While they are alone, you should still proceed with caution around them.

     A second reason and one which we cannot control is the weather. If it is snowing outside, you are more likely to spot a coyote wandering about. With the snow, there is less vegetation for the coyotes to hide behind, meaning they are not hidden as usual. Secondly, less vegetation means more animals out, and if they happen to be a coyote’s food, a coyote will likely be following them. However, keep in mind a rise in sightings does not equal growth in population, it could just mean a shift in where their prey is located.

     Regarding the young boy who was attacked on the 9th, the United States Department of Agriculture analyzed DNA from the scene and was able to find the coyote responsible. When they found him, he has several BB gun pellets in him. This shows us that they shot him which caused his aggression. So if you don’t want to be attacked, don’t aggravate them. 

     While coyotes are scary to people, they should be protected as they are a vital piece in our ecosystem. They help keep the populations of small mammals in check. So next time you see one, stay away and help your government with sightings by filling out this form (https://bit.ly/2Gd52oc) provided by the scientific wildlife management association.