Coyotes are one of the most maligned animals in Illinois and across much of their range, but they are a normal and even beneficial part of the habitat.
Coyotes live in all parts of Illinois, including rural, suburban and urban areas, so seeing them near your home is not unusual or cause for concern, according to Wildlife Illinois. Coyotes who are given their space and are not injured or being fed by people are not a threat to humans.
Coyotes are most active at night, but it’s not unusual to see them during the day. It’s also not unusual to see coyotes lying down or resting out in the open, such as in a park or cemetery, during the day.
The No. 1 way to prevent coyote attacks is to not feed wildlife, according to the Urban Coyote Research Project. Coyotes that are being fed will become less and less afraid of humans and may eventually test people — and their pets — as potential prey. Feeding coyotes does not include only intentional feeding by using bait stands or stations but also inadvertent feeding by leaving pet food and garbage unsecured in your yard.
If a coyote approaches you, do not run away from it, Wildlife Illinois advises. Instead, yell, stand up straight and wave your arms in the air, which give you the appearance of being bigger than you are. If something is close by, throw it near the coyote with the intent of scaring it, not actually hitting or injuring it.