Coyote warning issued to Fox Lake residents
Fox Ridge subdivision residents are being warned to be cautious of coyotes that have been seen roaming the neighborhood in recent weeks, Fox Lake Police said Tuesday.
Code Enforcement Officer Randy Schmitt said police have received three coyote reports from the subdivision off Route 12 since July 20.
The first report came from a woman who saw a coyote walking down Fox Chase Drive the morning of July 20. The coyote left the area before police arrived. The second sighting came three days later at 7 a.m. when a woman called police and said she was walking her dog with her young daughter when a coyote chased them into her garage in the 500 block of on Fox Chase Drive. The woman called police, but the coyote had left before officers arrived, Schmitt said.
A third call was received Aug. 1 about 7 a.m. on neighboring Windsor Drive when a resident said they saw a coyote in their front yard.
"There is a heavily wooded and swampy area behind that subdivision where one or more coyotes are living," Schmitt said. "They must be running out of food and water back there and coming out in the open."
Schmitt said it's not unusual to see coyotes near residential areas bordering on open space where the animals can find their natural prey. Coyotes are naturally timid animals and will usually flee at the sight of a human, he explained.
People who come face-to-face with a coyote should use "hazing" to scare the animal away, Schmitt said. Hazing means people should be loud -- clap their hands, make a lot of noise and shout.
People should not turn their back on a coyote, he said, and never attempt to haze the animal if it appears sick or injured or is accompanied by puppies.
Small pets and children should never be left unattended, and dogs should always be walked on a leash, Schmitt said. Any aggressive behavior from a coyote should be reported immediately to the Fox Lake Police Department at (847) 587-3100, he said.