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Coyote & Wildlife Awareness

Communities throughout the Chicagoland area, including the Village of Westmont, have seen an increase in the coyote population. Interactions with wildlife, including coyotes, are not uncommon. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) has developed a website to assist citizens with helpful suggestions regarding how people and wildlife can successfully coexist. A link to the IDNR website is listed below.

Like most municipalities, the Village of Westmont does not trap or capture coyotes or other wildlife. If residents feel they have a nuisance wildlife concern on their property, then they may opt to hire a licensed trapper to address their concern. Licensed trappers are listed with the IDNR. “It is illegal for citizens to possess wildlife without the proper permits,” says Chris Young, spokesperson for the IDNR. “These licenses are required so that people have the appropriate training to handle wildlife safely.” Below is a link to licensed operators in DuPage County.

Coping With Coyotes

* Coyotes are considered to be nocturnal but it is normal for them to be active during the day as well.
* If you encounter a coyote, be confident and bold. Make loud noises and make yourself look larger by raising your hands above your head.
* Do not be submissive, turn your back or run.
* Coyotes prefer to be as far from humans as possible, but the loss of their habitat have left them with very few choices. Attacks on humans are rare and there has not been a documented case of a coyote biting a human in DuPage County.
* Many coyote attacks against dogs are initiated by the dog and not the coyote.
* Always walk your dog on a leash.
* Never leave your dogs unattended in your yard and always try to keep them inside at night.
* Keep your yard well illuminated when outdoors at night.
* Keep grills and barbecues clean, as well as compost bins and areas around fruit trees and gardens.
* Have a bright flashlight with you when walking your dog at night.
* Keep cats indoors.
* Coyotes can be creatures of habit. If you encounter one at the same place and time while walking your pet, change your route or the time that you take that walk.
* If you know the location of the “den”, keep animals and children away from that area. Never remove the coyote’s young from the den.
* If you are followed by a coyote, you are likely walking through its territory and it is merely escorting or “shadowing” you to make sure you are not a threat.
* Don’t use poisons as they are inhumane, may be illegal, and can contaminate the water supply.
* Removing the coyote is illegal without the proper permits and only creates space for another animal.

For more information regarding coyotes and other wildlife, please check out the links and resources listed below.

Coyote Information
Urban Coyote Management (PDF)

Wildlife Information Links

National Wildlife Federation
DuPage County Animal Control
DuPage County Forest Preserve, Willowbrook Wildlife Center 
The University of IL Extension, Living with Wildlife 
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
IDNR Licensed Trapper List

In the event that nuisance wildlife inhabits your private property or otherwise directly affecting your personal well being, you may consider contacting the following local agencies to assist:

DuPage County Animal Care & Control - 630-407-2800
Willowbrook Wildlife Center - 630-942-6200

Following is a recording of the Coyote and Wildlife Awareness information presented at the Westmont Police Department on June 28, 2014.