CHICAGO (CBS) — The director of the Lincoln Park Zoo estimates there are now over 1,000 coyotes living in Chicago.
Another researcher, Stan Gehrt of Ohio State, says there could be as many as 2,000 who have set up housekeeping within the city limits.
Lincoln Park Zoo Director Kevin Bell says, “We used to move them to keep them away from our ducks. Now there are too many to move, and it’s pointless because they keep coming back.”
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Bell says Lincoln Park Zoo tracked coyotes along the lakefront from Soldier Field– north to Evanston.
Ecologists say coyote populations have been expanding for a couple of reasons. First, wolves that used to control coyote populations have been slaughtered by humans.
Second, coyotes are extremely adaptable. As humans cut down forests, coyotes find it easy to move into urban areas which is like a restaurant to them.
Gehrt also notes coyotes are good for controlling Chicago’s ever-growing population of Canada Geese.
Bell says the coyotes are here to stay, and we have to learn to coexist.