Coyotes are frequently sighted in the area, and occasionally there are reports of domestic pets being lost to the natural instinct of this wildlife predator. More recently, sightings of coyotes with mange have been reported in nearby communities. Itasca residents are encouraged to take proactive measures to prevent attracting coyotes to residential yards by keeping the ground clear of pet and/or wild animal food, and not leaving small pets unattended outside.
The Village of Itasca offers the following tips:
Do not feed any wild animals such as squirrels or deer, as feeding them inadvertently encourages coyotes as well. Remove bird feeders and outside pet food containers, since coyotes will prey upon small mammals that are attracted to birdseed and pet food.
Store garbage in secure containers and in areas where wild animals cannot access it.
Clear wood piles, brush piles, and other potential cover for coyotes and other wild animals. Keep yards clean of refuse and brush.
Do not leave pets outside unattended. Keep cats indoors at all times.
Walk pets on a leash, especially at night.
Reinforce coyotes’ natural fear of humans by displaying aggressive behavior, turning on outside lights, and making loud noises.
Encourage your neighbors to follow these same guidelines.
Please be advised that Village police personnel do not respond to reports of coyote sightings, nuisance complaints of coyotes, or any other wild animal complaints unless the animal poses a clear and immediate threat to public health, safety or welfare. A vicious, injured, or any wild animal acting in a threatening manner or suspected of having rabies should be reported immediately by telephoning 9-1-1.
Removal of nuisance wildlife from private property is the homeowner’s responsibility and is best left to a professional contractor having the training, experience, equipment and the required trapping permits from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to safely resolve the situation. Private contractors handling animal nuisance issues may be found in the telephone business directory (yellow pages) listed under “wildlife removal services.” Many are on-call 24 hours a day.