The city wants to enlist the help of coyotes to fight off rats

Written by
Clayton Guse
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Wikimedia Commons/John Picken

In its ongoing battle against the rats—the icky rodents that (we're assuming) outnumber humans in population in Chicago—the city has enlisted help from a wide variety of sources (and species). Neighborhoods across the city have allowed feral cats to freely roam the alleyways, gobbling up whatever nasty vermin they come across. But one alderman has proposed unleashing another wild animal on Chicago's rat problem: coyotes.

An ordinance introduced by 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins at this week's City Council meeting would establish a "coyote wildlife management program" that would instruct the Department of Animal Care and Control to be less willy-nilly when it comes to killing or tranquilizing coyotes in the city. The ordinance would establish a response guide that only warrants the use of lethal force against the wannabe wolves when they attack or threaten a human or pet.

This isn't the first time Chicagoans have called upon their dog-like brethren to combat rats. In 2010, an initiative dubbed the Cook County Urban Coyote Research Project released 60 coyotes equipped with radio-tracking collars into the city in an effort to not only munch on rats and other pests, but also to study how wild coyotes interact with urban environments. 

But if you're worried about a coyote hunting you down and grinding its teeth on your bones while you're out shopping in the Loop, don't. The species is generally non-confrontational toward humans, according to the Urban Coyote Research Project. In the instance that you are attacked by a coyote, don't try to run away. If you make yourself appear large and intimidating, the creatures will back the f--- off. 

That said, we'll take any help we can find in terms of curbing the city's rat population. The problem has become an epidemic in some neighborhoods

[h/t DNAinfo]

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