The past couple of nights, our dog AJ and I have seen at least one coyote on our walks. We see them with relative frequency, and usually what happens is this: (1) AJ goes ballistic, (2) the coyote scampers off in the other direction.
Now, AJ is a 90-pound dog and he, at least, thinks he's pretty formidable. But the last couple nights, the coyote in question didn't seem to scare so easily. In fact, on Thursday, one of them actually turned around and started coming our way.
With some effort, I managed to pull AJ back under a streetlight, and our coyote friend apparently went the other way, but a quick Internet search confirms our observation.
"Dogs were more commonly attacked during the winter months than during the spring and summer. This corresponds to the breeding season of the coyote," according to the Cook County Coyote Project website. "Dogs were attacked while outside in their back yard (both alone and in the presence of their owner) and also while being walked by their owner in a park."
So, I guess it's a good thing we went the other way.
Most recently, Wheaton police have reported a series of coyote attacks. In two incidents, a coyote snatched a small dog; in a third, a dog was euthanized after suffering extensive injuries during an attack.
The Cook County Coyote Project site indicates that coyote attacks are up, in general, but the graph provided appears to be dated, with data from the late 1990s through about 2007.
The city of Geneva has coyote information on its website. It also refers users to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website page on coyotes.
Pinterest has some interesting photos, including one of a coyote attacking a dog.
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