By Vince Gerasole

UPDATE 6 p.m. 2/18/2016: The coyote was not seen on the vacant property Thursday. The animal presumably escaped.


CHICAGO (CBS) — A coyote is creating quite a stir in the Streeterville neighborhood after taking up residence in a vacant field.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports it’s a wild story smack dab in the civilization.

“The thing that gets me he’s sitting there looking at us and we are looking at him,” said Norma Rosenberg.

He — maybe, she — appears to be a coyote, who’s found a home in a vacant field surrounded by a fence and hospitals, a construction site and lots of curious people.

“He’s not harming anybody,” said Rito Salinas, who works at the Rehab Institute of Chicago. “All he wants to do is eat some bunnies.”

The field is the site of the former VA hospital. Many say they can tell you they’ve noticed him for days.

“I told my doorman when I came home,” said Caitlin Pegg. “He did not believe me, my mom, anyone at school.”

It’s brought out the police, animal control, Northwestern Hospital security, and yet the coyote still sits there.

They’re coming by with cameras big and small. After all, the coyote has already become a star on social media.

“I was about a block away and found it on the web,” said Tod Bannor of Oak Park. “He is probably is gonna feast on rabbits. It doesn’t look like he’s hurting for food. My guess he will leave when he’s ready to.”

Animal Control says part of what is keeping the coyote in the field is that neighbors are coming by and they are throwing scraps of food, big pieces of steak and maybe the coyote likes it. They are also working with a wildlife relocation firm to try to come in this particular instance and get the coyote and take him somewhere that is not so close to so many homes and hospital patients.

It is estimated that there could be as many as 2,000 coyotes within the city limits of Chicago.

Late Wednesday evening, authorities thought they had the animal corralled when they were able to get it to leave that fence area. But, the animal had his own plans. He got away from them, ran around, and then turned and jumped back over the fence into the same field.

Vince Gerasole