ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — A coyote fell into Lake Michigan near Monroe Harbor and had to be rescued Tuesday afternoon.
The coyote was rushed to the Chicago Animal Care and Control facility at 2741 S. Western Ave. and then picked up by Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation – becoming the first to be taken out of the city in more than a year.
But as CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reported Tuesday night, with thousands of the animals living in the city, close encounters of the coyote kind are becoming all too common.
John Greenan, and Orland Park resident, showed Puccinelli where he was forced to intervene in a fight between his service dog, Buggs, and a wild coyote.
“They were scuffling through here. They both got back up,” Greenan said. “The coyote did a second lunge towards us. My service dog went after him.”
It happened in his front yard just after midnight in July 2018. When it was over, Greenan was bloody.
“The coyote and the dog were on the ground, and that’s when I initially got bit, five different times, trying to get the coyote off my service dog,” Greenan said.
At Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Greenan was treated for numerous cuts and puncture wounds. He then had to endure 16 rabies shots over the next six months.
“Especially getting five at one time in the hospital, I couldn’t walk for two or three days,” he said.
And then two days after the attack, an officer from Cook County Animal Care and Control came out and walked the area of the attack. He then told Greenan that he was the first human being to have been bitten by a coyote in 20 years.
But while coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare they do attack small dogs and pets.
A little more than a week ago near Burling and Willow streets in Old Town, a 5-ponund toy poodle puppy naked Ki-Ki barely survived a coyote mauling.
The night before, a Schnauzer named Missy was attacked at Cambridge Avenue and Delaware Place in the Cabrini Rowhouses.
And another coyote spent more than four hours in a yard near North and Clybourn avenues and was caught on video howling. It was one of at least 10 reports of coyotes phoned into Chicago Animal Care and Control in the past week.
“We advise residents to wave your arms in the air, make loud noises, blow a whistle if you have to. Any of those loud, sudden movements will deter the coyote from coming any closer,” said Chicago Animal Care and Control Executive Director Kelley Gandurski.
But in Greenan’s case, a dead rabbit was involved – and he says nothing was going to deter that coyote from protecting its kill. That’s why he got involved.
“He’s not only a service dog, but to me he’s my best friend and my hero,” Greenan said. “He’s what gets me up in the morning.”