Animal officials in Chicago have begun investigating after the city had two coyote incidents in one night Wednesday, an extremely rare situation for a city that hasn’t had a reported incident in three decades.
The Chicago Animal Care and Control unit says inspectors have been dispatched to investigate the incidents and any other coyote sightings in the city. In one case, a 6-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital Wednesday afternoon after getting bitten multiple times. A 32-year-old man also had to undergo hospital treatment after he said he was attacked by a coyote from behind as he was walking on the sidewalk.
The boy was with a caretaker on a walking path in the Lincoln Park neighborhood at the time of the attack, Kelley Gandurski, executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control, said at a news conference Thursday. He had been bitten multiple times as the caretaker tried to kick the coyote away.
The coyote fled and the boy is in stable condition. Officials said they are looking for a coyote with a limp around Lincoln Park.
Over the last week, there have been reports of small dogs being attacks by coyotes.
The man who was bitten was treated and released.
Gandurski said coyote attacks are “very rare” and “part of our ecosystem here in Chicago and they have lived among us for generations.”
“They prey upon small rodents … generally they do not want any contact with people,” she said.
Gandurski also stressed that coyotes are protected by state law and are allowed to roam free.