Village of WestmontIssued: April 28, 2014
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.” The following is a link to licensed operators in DuPage County:
Listed below are some tips for dealing with coyotes if seen in your neighborhood:
* 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, visit the DNR’s Wildlife Directory Webpage, list below,or visit www.dupageforest.org and click on Conservation and Managing Natural Resources.