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Coyotes spotted in Manteno city limits

November 19, 2018

MANTENO — Multiple residents have spotted coyotes near their yards in the area around Eddie Reed Park, Manteno Middle School and Manteno High School.

A resident in the 500 block of Parseghian Place told the Daily Journal this week that coyotes have been running along an easement in their backyard. The resident, who owns multiple dogs, said the coyotes appear daily.

“That’s the troublesome thing. They don’t seem to be afraid of people,” the resident said. “We have lots of dogs and little kids in the area. I love seeing wildlife in the wild, but not in a neighborhood.”

Coyotes and foxes have been common in Manteno village limits. The fall harvest, rabbit population and access to food attract them to the area.

However, there isn’t much law enforcement or animal control can do unless the coyotes become rabid.

“There are coyotes in town. There is no question about it,” Manteno Police Chief Alan Swinford said. “We are in rural Illinois. We built houses in their habitat. So, we are going to have a little wildlife. That’s just a fact of life.”

Gary Baughn, the village’s animal control officer, has tracked three coyotes. Two have been around Eddie Reed Park, and another has been near an apartment complex on McGuire Street.

“The big problem is people are leaving food out and their garbage is accessible,” Baughn said. “Coyotes know where to go. If they find food, they are going to stay around. We have to starve them out. If they don’t have a steady food source, they are not going to stay.”

Baughn advises residents to not leave food outside and to keep garbage sealed and contained. He also cautions pet owners to keep an eye on their animals when they are outside and to make loud noises when coyotes appear.

Swinford encourages residents to still call the police department when they spot a coyote. He noted that hunting coyotes in city limits is illegal.

“I understand it’s unnerving to see coyotes walking by,” he said. “If you see one and are worried about it, call us. But I can guarantee they will not be eliminated unless they are rabid. We have talked to DNR about it. We just have to eliminate the food source and make them move along.”

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