Wednesday, April 04, 2007

On the Chicago Coyote

Growing up, I was very frightened of coyotes and wolves. We could hear the howl of coyotes on our family farm when I was little and when we visited my grandparents’ farm. My most vivid, terrifying nightmare as a child was of a coyote jumping up onto a ledge and looking in a large picture window of our house!

Despite all that, I don’t remember ever seeing one up close, despite living on a farm for the first five years of my life and periodic visits thereafter. Ironically, Chicago residents and visitors today had a storefront (or closer) view when a year-old male coyote strolled into a Quiznos and settled in the drinks cooler. (Yes, in the cooler!) He remained in that spot, watching and being watched, for almost an hour until animal control dragged him out.

Contrary to my childhood impression, the video clip on our evening news of this coyote portrayed him as cute, friendly, and almost harmless. While I’m sure caution was appropriate, the degree of force used to subdue and remove him appeared to be unnecessary. But I guess they're taking good care of him, and have named him Adrian.

I understand that coyote sightings and encounters in Chicago are not all that uncommon (see stories above and this report from several years ago), although Quiznos visits such as this one are more unusual.

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