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Increase in coyote sightings worry Rockford residents

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ROCKFORD (WREX) —Some residents in Rockford are complaining that there are more coyote sightings in neighborhoods.

"There is a lot of sightings of postings to neighbors to be aware that this is occurring," said Rockford 14th Ward Ald. Joe Chiarelli.

Ald. Chiarelli says over the last few months, more residents have emailed him and reported coyote sightings.

One email from a woman living on Creekwood Circle says she saw a coyote at the base of her deck when she was letting her dogs out.

He also says he's experienced the problem firsthand.

"Unfortunately my wife called me one morning and said that there was a pack of coyotes roaming through the neighborhood. And it was very scary for her because we have a 3-year-old grandchild that likes to play out in the yard," said Chiarelli.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the number of coyotes has grown in the state this past decade.

Statewide, it says hunters have spotted 42 percent more coyotes compared to 10 years ago.

"We may continue to see an increase and they've moved into more urban areas recently and have become acclamated to humans," said IDNR District Wildlife Biologist Jeff Horn.

If you see a coyote, the IDNR says there are things you can do.

"We recommend a couple of things one not to feed coyotes and you can also keep your pet inside especially at night when coyotes are mainly active," said Horn.

In the meantime, Chiarelli says he and other city leaders have handouts explaining what people should do if they see a coyote and are working out ways to fix this problem permanently.

Chiarelli adds city leaders are working on coordinating a town hall about the coyote issue. They have note set a date yet.

If you see a coyote in your neighborhood, you're encouraged to report it to the IDNR.

Lauren Baker

Lauren Baker is the 13 News weekend evening anchor. She started in April of 2019 after moving from Michigan, where she was a morning producer/traffic reporter.

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