Naperville goes to the dogs, coyotes that is
By TIM WEST email@example.com July 26, 2012 10:46PM
Updated: August 28, 2012 6:09AM
I had more than a little interest, last Sunday morning, when I saw the photograph of a coyote on the front page of The Sun.
My first thought, of course, was “Is that a Naperville coyote?” That’s what happens when you’ve spent your entire working life writing about Naperville and things Naperville.
Then there was the story inside The Sun.
As a lot of you are probably aware, coyote sightings are increasing in our town.
That doesn’t surprise me.
I’ve seen them off and on for several years now, and heard stories about others viewing them in our neighborhood.
One day a couple of winters ago I saw what looked to be coyote tracks, at least when I made the comparison of them with a book of animal footprints in the snow, in our backyard. The creature must have had to jump or climb our fence to get in, but coyotes can do that.
I’ve also seen one crossing the street at West Street headed toward what were then the garden plots. Now it’s a lacrosse field, so I guess a coyote over there now would be wearing a lacrosse mask.
One neighbor told me of the day when a coyote was on our cul-de-sac at night, illuminated by a street lamp.
Another told me of his dawn sighting of a pair of coyotes in my front yard.
And since coyotes are elusive, I’m sure there have been plenty of others that I’ve just never seen or been told about.
In The Sun story, Joanne Aul of our city’s Animal Control Department was quoted as saying as how there have been coyote attacks reported at both the city’s north and south end, and that included a dog that was attacked recently and another at the end of 2011.
Coyotes to the north, coyotes to the south, and since we live close to the center of town, I guess we can safely say that the city is lousy with coyotes.
Aul said that the coyote attacks usually occur when “a pet is inside an electric fence or the coyotes jump over a fence.”
So maybe those chewed-up rabbit remains I found inside our fenced backyard one day day came from a coyote attack rather than one of the red-tailed hawks that hang around our part of town.
In any event, I’ve always made sure that our cats are indoor cats and if any of you are prone to letting your cats or dogs wander maybe you just ought to rethink that practice.
Aside from it being unfair to the neighbors to let your animals use their yards as lavatories, unless you want Bootsie or Fido to become coyote chow keeping them indoors unless they are on a leash with you on the other end seems like an eminently sensible idea.
For those who like to go to city meetings, and who doesn’t, there will be a forum on coyotes in Naperville at 7 p.m. Aug. 6 at the Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., which will include a presentation by a naturalist with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. I’m not sure how you get the coyote to come to the meeting, but maybe they like coffee and doughnuts.
If you have questions or concerns about that coyote sunning himself on your deck while it’s sipping a pina colada, this session would be a good time to raise them.