Coyotes – they are here. And not all Kane County residents feel comfortable with their presence.
During a Geneva Committee of the Whole meeting in June, residents spoke to aldermen about how some coyotes in the area are becoming used to people and are no longer as afraid of humans as they once were.
Residents of Geneva’s Fisher Farms and Westhaven subdivisions, in particular, want officials to do something about aggressive coyotes.
Options should be explored.
In the past, Geneva has looked for its residents to coexist with coyotes, a stance recommended by wildlife experts. People have been instructed not to feed the animals, to lock up their garbage and not to let their dogs or cats outside unattended, according to the city of Geneva website.
“Most coyotes are leery of people and tend to stay away from humans,” the website states. “However, like any wild animal, they can be unpredictable and dangerous. While attacks on humans are very rare, young children should never be left unattended.”
The site goes on to state that, “When coyotes find ... food sources in residential areas, they may lose their fear of humans and eventually test both people and pets as prey.”
Coyotes can be found throughout Kane County, but Geneva seems to be a particularly troubling area for more aggressive coyotes.
Residents of Geneva have described coyotes approaching them as they have walked their dogs, and some say their dogs have been attacked.
So what can be done?
Options could include trapping dominant coyotes and euthanizing them, or teaching the community about how to effectively “haze” coyotes, which means yelling or making loud noises to scare the animals away. Opinions differ as to how effective those methods are.
Officials said police do not respond to coyote grievances and neither does Kane County Animal Control, unless the complaints involve actual attacks or rabies.
But perhaps there is a high enough need for a local entity to become proficient in handling coyote control and disturbances. At a minimum, an organization could step up to host regular informational sessions about coyotes and how humans can deal with them.
In the meantime, residents need to be vigilant. Those with small animals must take responsibility for their safety, and small children should not be left alone in areas that coyotes frequent.
Geneva aldermen have asked city staff to research the topic of coyotes. Residents should stay tuned for details.