CHICAGO (CBS) — West Side residents expressed concern at a meeting Wednesday night about the growing population of coyotes.
The meeting took place after a coyote may have bitten a child in the face last month at Columbus Park in the South Austin neighborhood
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports that at the meeting, the Department of Animal Control was feeling the heat.
The bottom line of the meeting is the coyotes are here to stay in many city and county parks. There will be no official effort to get rid of them, but experts say there are ways to scare them off.
Worries arose when a three-year-old boy may have been bitten in the face by a dog-like animal last month at Columbus Park in the South Austin neighborhood.
His mother believes it was a coyote, which are known to live in the park and folks are frightened.
“I am a walker and I would not like to walk up on a coyote,” said Adrian Otkins.
“What are kids going to do when they come to the park and play and it is not the animal’s fault truly but what are we supposed to do?” said Robert Franklin.
Experts offered tips on dealing with the coyotes, such as never feeding them.
“Stamp your feet. Be angry, yell at them. Keep being humans and that will allow them to see you as a threat,” said Dr. Donna Alexander.
As for the little bite victim, the mother’s boyfriend Bryce Kyle says, “He is doing good. His spirits are great considering. Once again, I feel like his mother is probably taking it a lot worse than him. After the initial situation, I think he has been one hell of a soldier about it.”
The 3-year-old will see his doctors again Thursday. There is likely some plastic surgery in his future.