A reader writes:
We used to see lots of coyotes when we lived in a Dallas neighborhood near White Rock Lake. (I shot some video at the time.) One of the more interesting urban coyote-related stories I once read was regarding dead house cats being found in suburban neighborhoods.
The residents were quite spooked because the cats were often found on their backs with their abdomens cleanly opened down the middle. Many of their internal organs were placed at the side of the carcasses, and then the insides of the carcasses were cleaned completely out. Residents thought this was the work of devil worshippers! And were on guard for escalations in the mischief.
However, animal experts soon reported that coyotes were likely the culprits. They apparently don't like certain internal organs, so they drop them to the side. Then they eat and lick the "bowl" clean.
So... the downside to urban coyotes: They might hunt cats and small dogs. I've even heard of small children being targeted.
Chicago-based coyotes are old news. Early on Sunday September 1, 1997, while pushing a baby stroller (my 4-month-old son was an early riser), I encountered a coyote exactly one block away from Wrigley Field on the corner of Grace and Seminary. Chicago Animal Control reacted as if I was reporting a squirrel sighting.
If Chicago wants to know how coyotes do in an urban setting, all they had to do was call San Francisco. Coyotes have lived for years in parks and golf courses in San Francisco. They become accustomed to people (perhaps because of people feeding them) and then become emboldened and start attacking pet dogs and cats. And when that happens the city has to call in professional hunters who kill the coyotes.