It looks like Evergreen Park has a new resident.
Police say there have been multiple sightings of a coyote in the southwest quadrant of town. Residents have seen what is believed to be the same coyote pop up in backyards and fields in recent days.
While a coyote might seem alarming, they generally only pose a possible threat to small pets that are left unattended.
According to the Cook County Coyote Project, there hasn't been a documented case of a coyote attacking a human in Illinois since at least 1985—the beginning range of the study. On top of that, there have only been two cases of coyotes killing a human in the U.S. and Canada in modern history.
That said, residents are indeed reporting interactions with local coyotes and we want to keep those numbers from getting any higher. The Cook County Coyote Project website says one of the best ways to prevent coyote conflict is to avoid feeding them, whether that be intentional or not.
Furthermore, coyotes typically come out at night. If you see a coyote during the day, that's indication the animal may be more bold and therefore more likely to attack. If you ever find yourself in this situation, the study recommends you yell, wave your arms and try to throw something at the coyote. Never run away!
While coyotes have been known to attack pets, the Cook County Coyote Project says coyotes do not frequently attack dogs, and when they do, they tend to be smaller dogs. Cats, on the other hand, may represent more alluring targets. Don't lose too much sleep over it, though. The vast majority of a coyote's diet is made up of mice and rats.
Evergree Park police officials say that you shouldn't become alarmed if you come across the coyote, but you should call for help if the animal appears to be aggressive or poses a threat.
-Ryan Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.