Wildlife experts in Northern Illinois want hikers to be wily when it comes to coyotes.
The Lake County Forest Preserve District announced Monday that the next few weeks will see the beginning of the period when female coyotes care for their pups in dens they've set up.
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People out hiking should keep their dogs on a short leash and never attempt to feed or pet coyotes -- all of which are activities coyotes might view as threatening to the pups.
The district say if people see a coyote approach them -- something coyotes will do out of curiosity, not aggression -- they should try to scare them away by waving their arms, shout at them or toss rocks or sticks in their direction.