GENEVA – Residents of Fisher Farms and Westhaven subdivision of Geneva pleaded with aldermen Monday to do something about aggressive coyotes in their neighborhoods.
Residents said the city's stance of educating residents to learn to live with coyotes is no longer working, as the animals are habituated to being around people and are no longer afraid.
Resident Kayla Block said her dog was attacked by two coyotes in the back yard of her home on Harvest Ridge Road. And though the dog's life was saved, her general freedom to be outdoors is now controlled by coyotes.
"I can't let my children go outside," Block said. "I can't let them walk the dogs because of the coyotes …. The coyotes have more freedom to be in my back yard than I do."
Her neighbor, Brian Darnell, who survived a coyote attack earlier this year that was reported on television news, said, "The coyotes are habituated to humans and have no fear at all."
Darnell described trying to walk his dog at 10 p.m. and being stalked by two coyotes working together to get his dog.
Wendy Cullen said she has had encounters with coyotes while out for her morning run from Fisher Farms out to Randall Road.
"I screamed and yelled and he did not move," Cullen said. "I have seen my … big dog cower because he knows they're out there."
First Ward Alderman Charles Brown, who chaired the committee of the whole meeting, said when the city decided on its coyote policy 10 years ago, there were no reports of coyotes hunting in packs.
"This is something new to address," Brown said.
Robert Erickson, a DeKalb trapper with 35 years of experience trapping coyotes, told aldermen that killing all coyotes does not make sense – but trapping and removing alpha males and females as he has done in other communities – helps.
Erickson said he uses science – radio collars and a coyote sighting log provided by residents – to catch aggressive coyotes.