Wily coyote visits east campus over winter break
After students left campus last week a visitor stopped by — a male coyote who’s been spotted hanging around the east side of campus.
Numerous sightings have been reported to UIC Police since the evening of Dec. 12, often near University Hall and Grant Hall.
“At this point, we are not actively trying to trap or remove,” said Mark Donovan, vice chancellor for administrative services. “Generally, they will move on as more student activity resumes. If there appears to be any threat or safety issues, we will pursue trapping options.”
Individuals on campus who see the coyote should not feed or approach it, Donovan said. “Coyotes are generally shy animals and avoid human contact,” he said.
UIC Police telecommunicator Armond Harold said callers report the coyote is docile and has an ID indicating that it’s part of the Cook County Coyote Project.
Coyotes in the project are captured, given a tracking collar and released into the Chicago metropolitan area so researchers can monitor their habits.
Researchers and biologists from the Urbana-Champaign campus, Ohio State University, Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Chicago Zoological Society and University of New Mexico are collaborating on the project.
Urbana campus alumna Heidi Garbe, an Ohio State University research assistant working on the Cook County Coyote Project, said the key to co-existing with wild animals in urban areas is to respect and avoid them.
“The most amazing thing I learned while tracking these animals in the field was how hard most coyotes work to avoid us and how often they are around without us ever knowing it,” she said.
“This guy is obviously visible, but ignoring him unless he begins to be aggressive seems important.”