(CBS) — Cook County’s top animal control expert says the agency had no choice but to order a coyote euthanized last week.

Dr. Donna Alexander, administrator of the Cook County Department of Animal and Rabies Control, says that for two days animal control officers in Oak Lawn tried ways to deter the coyote from setting up its den in a residential area near an elementary school playground. She says that didn’t work.

Alexander says, “Once it established its territory, it’s very, very difficult to get (coyotes) to move,” especially as it prepares for the winter mating season.

She says there was a concern young children might approach the coyote, mistaking it for a dog and then be bitten. This coyote had already attacked a young dog in the area, according to the animal control chief.

Because of the coyote’s odd behavior –setting up a den in a residential area–Dr. Alexander says it was thought that taking the coyote 100 miles away and leaving it would not have guaranteed it would not have returned.

She says there was a risk that, unless the coyote were removed from the area, “an elementary school-level child might think of it as a doggie and approach it and that’s just a safety risk that we could not take.”

The coyote was euthanized at the Animal Welfare League in Chicago Ridge.