CRYSTAL LAKE – In this quiet Crystal Lake subdivision, it’s common to find people walking their dogs, cats in the yard or wild rabbits running through front lawns.
But neighbors on Monarch Drive recently have seen a different four-legged animal.
For the past two weeks, Jackie Schlesinger and her neighbors have spotted a coyote walking on the sidewalk and passing by homes.
“It’s kind of alarming because there are small animals that live in this neighborhood, and they could be a nice, tasty treat for this coyote,” Schlesinger said.
Schlesinger said no pets have been attacked by the coyote, but she worries that if it continues to roam the subdivision and attract more coyotes, neighborhood pets could be in jeopardy.
“I have neighbors who have small dogs on each side of me,” she said. “You see neighborhood cats walking around. Well, they may not be here very long if people don’t know to take the precautions.”
The McHenry County Conservation District warns that small pets may be seen as prey to a coyote, and owners should keep their pets on leashes or in a secured area when outside.
If a coyote approaches a human, the conservation district recommends the person wave his arms and shout in a loud voice because coyotes are frightened by aggressive gestures. Coyotes are not known to attack humans, and a child is at a greater risk of being bitten by a dog or cat, the conservation district said.
It’s important to not feed coyotes, the conservation district notes. Feeding the wild animal will make it bolder and unafraid of humans.
“It’s been showing up quite a bit,” Schlesinger said. “The kids are seeing it at lunchtime in broad daylight … It’s just walking down the sidewalk. Walking around the houses.”