So, a coyote walks into a Quizno's

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What a great line from intrepid reporter Shamus Toomey. It's almost as good as this line — "The officer didn't have far to go; he was at the Dunkin' Donuts next door." — later in the story.
While I've never encountered an urban coyote, I've had squirrels living in my attic, got hissed at by a possum and freaked out once when a giant raccoon came jumping out of the trash bin.
Do you have a great story of encountering urban wild life?

The best story will make the paper.

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Hey Mark --

Just checking out your new blog. Quality stuff! Congrats!

Neil Steinberg

My wife and I live in Madison, WI. We had a chipmunk digging behind our garage a few years back. I went to the hardware store, bought a hav-a-hart trap and baited it with peanut butter and a peanut. The next morning, there was the chipmunk in the trap. I took the trap across the street to a park, and released the chipmunk. I thought to myself "wasn't that a nice thing to do." The chipmunk ran across the street, and was squashed flat by a post office truck, which left its tail waving in its wake.

We too have coyotes. They live in the university research park behind our house and commute to the Odana Hills golf course a few blocks away. I was out walking our dog one night during halftime of a Monday night football game, and we saw two coyotes very close by. My dog started barking at them. I kept telling her to shut up and not be so obvious. She paid no attention to me, nor the coyotes to her.

The raccoons were back last night. These damned animals occasionally play Slip-and-Slide on my skylight. I have a crazy neighbor who thinks these naturally-masked bandits are cute. She leaves trays of cat food and people food out nightly. I've tried to talk some sense into her, but she just laughs it off and continues to think she is the female version St. Francis.

All of this led me to purchase a live trap. I've been pretty successful over the past five years that I've lived here on the South Side.

However, I haven't been having much luck this week. Apparently the racoons don't like the Polish sausage I was forced to bring home after Easter dinner either. If anyone has any sure-fire raccoon bait, I'd be VERY interested.

Also, a tip for my fellow trappers living in Chicago: The city's Animal Care and Control department will pick up any animals you catch in a trap. If it's your trap, they will return it too. (Though be prepared to pester the hell out of the desk officer if you want it returned promptly.) The city will also drop off their own traps if you have your eye on one particular critter.

Happy trapping.

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

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This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on April 4, 2007 8:33 AM.

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