Animal Control: Do not feed coyotes

Coyote spotted on high school field on April 5, 2010.

April 5, 2010 4:22:47 PM PDT
A wily coyote eluded authorities for a couple of hours Monday morning at a Northwest Side high school before being caught by Animal Control officers, who are urging residents not to feed the wild animals. The animal was spotted on the Luther North High School's athletic fields around 9:30 a.m. The coyote is no stranger to Portage Park and had been spotted in the neighborhood before. Officials warn that it might be looking for handouts.

"Do not feed wild coyotes. That is what got this animal in trouble," said Mark Rosenthal, Animal Control.

"I just saw the coyote laying in here. He kept trying to go out where I assume he came in," said Don Kehoe, Portage Park resident.

"Two years ago, they captured another one and were able to corner it and lasso it. I'm not sure it is the same one but it's a possibility," said Kevin Clancy, Portage Park resident.

"Our main concern is the community first. We were not going to release the coyote into the neighborhood. We want to protect our neighbors and were assured by police and animal control that they would find the coyote and safely secure it," said Jason Honig, Luther North High School. Students had Monday off from school, Honig said.

The coyote managed to outsmart officials a number of times before being caught. Animal Control called in police for more manpower as ABC7's Chopper 7 HD tracked the wily coyote's movements on and off the football field.

"Ultimately the coyote left that particular area and kind of migrated toward somebody's backyard where he was contained. Once he was contained, the animal control officers were able to get a little noose on him and bring him back to a facility," said Mark Rosenthal, Animal Control.

The animal was finally captured in the backyard of Alex Dauti's home, which is several blocks away from Luther North High School..

"I don't like them around my house," said Dauti.

"It's great. He is back in his habitat and it's wonderful," said Myra Flood, Portage Park resident.

The coyote will be transferred to a wildlife rehabilitation program.

"And they will hopefully place the animal outside of the neighborhood where he got into trouble, into another area that they would normally take rehabilitated animals," said Rosenthal.

Animal Control stressed that in 100 years there have been no reports of coyotes attacking a human and the best way to keep them away is not to feed them.