Coyote attacks dog in Glen Ellyn
September 29, 2006 (WLS) -- A coyote attacked a pet in the western suburbs last week. The dog had to be euthanized because of the mauling. Officials say coyote sightings in that area are on the rise. The dog was attacked in the backyard of the family's home in suburban Glen Ellyn.
Officials are telling residents to keep a close watch on small pets in areas where coyotes have been sighted.
Glen Ellyn police have been getting phone calls almost every day for the past few weeks. Neighbors are spotting coyotes in parks, in their yards, even near busy intersections. Police are asking residents to take extra precaution, especially those who have small animals.
One couple in Glen Ellyn doesn't want anyone else to lose their pet to a coyote.
"We just never expected something like that to happen. We're quite taken back. He was a little guy," said Chuck Stefani.
Chuck Stefani fought back tears as he and his wife Jayne remembered their 4-year-old Maltese "Wilbur." The six-pound dog was playing in the back around 9 a.m. last Thursday, when a coyote ran through the yard and scooped him up.
"I jumped up, starting yelling and screaming, by the time I got out here, he was already disappeared. The coyote couldn't get through the heavy bush with the dog, so it dropped the dog," said Stefani.
Wilbur was not in good shape after the attack. They took him to the vet but there wasn't much anyone could do. On Monday, they had to put him to sleep.
Glen Ellyn police say neighbors have seen coyotes roaming the area regularly, especially near Sunset Park off Main Street. After this recent attack, many who own small dogs are on edge.
"I wish they would do something. It's more than just one coyote. It's a concern. I used to be able to leave my dog out, you can't do that anymore now," said Terri Franky.
Police are exploring all options in trying to control the animals, including trapping them and taking them out to the forest. But wildlife experts say, even in the suburbs and parts of the city, coyotes are here to stay.
"Coyotes are a natural part of the landscape. They are living closer to folks than in the past, but generally they are not a threat to humans," said Dan Ludwig, Illinois Department of Natural Resources regional wildlife biologist.
They are a threat to small animals.
Carol Blair said she recently saw a coyote sitting in the grass near a busy intersection. now she won't let her dog "Ladybug" out of sight.
"It makes me feel terrible, because sometimes I just let her loose. I'll let her out and run. I won't do that anymore," said Blair.
If you see a coyote, police say you should call 9-1-1. Never approach the animals or try to feed them and keep your pet food inside. Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, but you still have to be careful. They look approachable but these are wild animals.
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