For years Chicago has had a coyote population, which can sometimes cause trouble for the city’s human residents. Coyotes are especially dangerous to small cats and dogs, but one suburban Chicago resident discovered a rather unique way to protect his pet. According to NBC Chicago, when the man found his eight-year-old Wheaten Terrier facing off with a coyote, he grabbed the wild animal by its fur and heaved it 15 feet into a snowbank on his property.
“I grabbed the coyote here and here, by the scruff and the back, and gave him one of these Olympic tosses,” said “Bob,” who wished to remain anonymous. “Then he went head over tail into the snow drift […] I didn’t even think about it at the time.”
While coyotes very rarely attack humans, the animals can come into conflict with territorial pets. Bob is not the only Chicago resident who had problems with coyotes coming onto his property. In a 2012 study by Ohio State University, there is a conservative estimate of 2,000 coyotes in the Chicago area. Experts say the number could be much higher as coyotes are increasingly moving into urban areas. In addition, wildlife officials have confirmed the existence of coyote-wolf hybrids, also called “coywolves,” in the state. The hybrid animals seem to be filling a void left behind by the long gone Illinois wolf, and are just as adaptable in urban areas as coyotes.
According to Northwestern University’s Medill Report, researchers have found that coyotes in Chicago are living longer and growing bigger. This in turn leads some residents to mistake regular coyotes for hybrids, despite no confirmed sightings in the city so far. Wildlife officials encourage residents to properly store trash in closed containers. Officials recently euthanized four coyotes in a suburban Chicago park and found digested remains of pork chops and bologna in their stomachs.
As for Bob, he said his encounter ended when the coyote decided to turn tail after being flung. His terrier received two nonthreatening bites in the attack, and is expected to be fine.