ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Residents in northwest suburban Arlington Heights are catering to some coyotes that are roaming in the area, leaving the animals food and raising concerns of their neighbors.
Cooked meals being left out for coyotes? That's what some residents of an Arlington Heights subdivision believe is happening at Centennial Park, after one neighbor reported on more than one occasion seeing everything from pork chops to an entire slab of ribs left under a tree.
Michael Caplan photographed a coyote steps from his backyard just a few days ago.
"It's absolutely ridiculous and with the wildlife preserve right over here we don't need any more coyotes," said neighbor Mike Caplan.
Folks here are not amused. Not only is feeding wildlife prohibited inside the park, it's also violation of the local municipal code.
"I don't know what people are thinking. I really don't, but if you're feeding a coyote, leaving food out. You shouldn't. It's not the smartest thing. It's dangerous for all of us who have pets. If you have small animals. I have smaller animals that go outside," said neighbor Ann Greenstein.
The park district says they're monitoring the area to remove anything that might attract coyotes. They're also working with the homeowner's association to ask residents refrain from leaving food out.
"There's an issue with the desensitization of the animals in proximity to people. We work tirelessly to try to inform people that they shouldn't get cozy with wild animals. We want the animals to maintain the natural fear of people," said Arlington Heights Police Officer Robert Kostka.
Police have asked anyone who observes suspicious placement of cooked food and meats on park property to dispose of them or contact 911.