Police are still searching for a pair of coyotes that have made at least seven attacks on dogs in the past few weeks, including one fatal incident.
The attacks have mostly taken place on the far southwest side of Northbrook, according to animal control officer Gina Manski. Six dogs were injured in the seven incidents police have confirmed, and two very small dogs were killed in the same yard.
“We are in the process of tracking the suspected pair involved,” Manski wrote in an e-mail to Patch. “At this point, we don’t know their physical condition.”
While Manski did not give further specifics about where the attacks took place, several readers commented on to share their own experiences with attacks or sightings of the animals.
Allyson Cohen said two attacks occurred in the Stonegate subdivision at Landwehr and Willow roads. One incident involved a dog on a leash and the other happened to a dog in a fenced-in yard, who was severely injured, according to Cohen. A third attack took place on Techny Road, she said, and two chihuahuas were killed in another housing development behind Stonegate.
Sherry Azaria reported seeing two coyotes around 5:30 a.m. one morning on Techny Road between Landwehr and Phillips.
“They approached us twice, one in front and one stalking on the right,” Azaria wrote. “Somehow, we kept them at bay and they didn’t follow us onto Philips. My theory at the time was that the streetlights were a deterrent.”
Jeri Comin Calvetti reported seeing a pair of coyotes on Jessica Lane, near Techny and Landwehr roads, around 9:30 p.m. last month, while another reader reported seeing a coyote at Willow Park around 7:15 a.m. last week.
In December 2010, Manski talked to Patch in greater depth about coyotes. At the time, she said that there had been several sightings by the basin in .
“It’s really thick with brown brush and weeds and stuff, and that is the prefect coverage for them,” she said. “There could be coyotes in there and you’d never see them.”
Ordinarily, Manski explained, a coyote sighting is not necessarily a problem. It's not uncommon for the animals to travel through village streets, on their way to hunt for rodents or other small wildlife.
“If you look at an aerial view of Northbrook, we’re pretty much surrounded by forest preserves,” she said. “The coyotes will travel through town a lot, going from one spot to the next. And then, like the Techny basin, we have nice big parks for them to hunt.”
According to Manski, coyotes are territorial and travel in mated pairs within a several mile radius. They tend to follow the same routes for hunting, but they are also capable of changing their travel paths—which can make it tricky to catch a pair if they have become a danger.
State law mandates that police can intercede only if there is an immediate danger to health and safety, according to Manski. She added that there has never been a coyote attack to a human in the state of Illinois.
While police track down this pair—which has become a danger—Manski offers some tips for residents who want to keep their pets safe:
- Feed pets indoors or remove the dishes immediately if you feed them outside. Store pet food inside.
- Clear brush and dense weeds to remove shelter for rodents (which coyotes eat), and protective cover for coyotes.
- Put tight clamping devices on the lids of trash barrels to prevent spills if animals tip them over.
- Do not feed or provide water for coyotes or any other wildlife.
- Keep small pets, like cats, rabbits and small dogs, indoors.
- Keep larger dogs inside after dark, and don’t let them run loose.
- Let dogs outside only with direct supervision, even in a fenced yard.
- If you encounter a coyote, shout, clap, or throw something near it to help make the coyote afraid of people and to shoo it away.