My dog Dakota and I were walking along the trails behind the BG Fitness Center and the Park District golf dome today when we were attacked from behind by two coyotes. Dakota is not a small dog, she's part siberian husky/whippet mix and weighs 38 pounds.
We walk these trails at least 3 times a week and we've had coyote sitings for well over a year along this same trail. Just six weeks ago I notified the village by email that Dakota and I were alerted to sounds of what seemed like little dogs barking and then the howls. I knew instantly it was coyotes and I wrote the village asking them to at least put up a sign that there was a coyote den so people would be alerted. I received a reply back that the village didn't own the land, the park district does and they'd forward the email onto them.
Following the advice of all the warnings on what to do when confronted with coyotes, I've either yelled at the top of my lungs if nowhere to run, I carry a big stick or usually I turn around and avoid their area. Today as we were on the path I saw the two coyotes 30 feet in front of me and turned around. I didn't want Dakota to notice so I'm quick about it. I decide to do the lower half of the park area and making my second loop near the bike park out of nowhere Dakota yanks me backward, I fall to the ground and I see the coyotes. I scream, one runs away but Dakota has already attacked the other coyote. Because the yank was so hard the retractable leash flew out of my hand and I believe it hit the coyote in the head causing it to run away. All the while I'm screaming. Luckily Dakota was wearing a harness because it appears the coyote bit through the harness and the metal clip prevented Dakota's skin from being ripped open. Dakota had a mouth full of hair from the coyote but appears to be okay.
After following up with the vet and getting Dakota settled, I went to the park district to let them know what happened. I did this because according to the email reply I received weeks ago, the village couldn't help me. Not that a sign is going to do anything but at least people who aren't familiar with the area will be warned, there are a ton of kids on these paths daily! Since informing the park district, I've spoken with a village representative and the police department. I joked with the police dept because not sure what they can do about it. But I filed a report. What's truly scary is the coyotes had to track us to come up from behind. That's aggressive behavior and thats what is so alarming. I'm told that the coyote dens can't be removed because they're protected. I'm not trying to place blame on anyone - it's no ones fault. My concern is that just doing our own due diliegence isn't working. The coyotes are aggressive enough they wanted my dog who was within six feet of me and on a leash.
The village highlights our beautiful trails on their website as an ammenity to our community. If it's not the villages responsibility to keep us safe, the park district has no jurisidiction over a coyote den and the police can only take a report - who is responsible for protecting the citizens against what is becoming a real concern? What if it's a child walking their dog next time or kids just hanging out on the trails? Why are the coyote dens protected but the citizens aren't?