A new task force works to reduce coyote sightings in Springfield

A new task force works to reduce coyote sightings in Springfield

A new task force is working to reduce coyote sightings in the city.

On Tuesday, Springfield City Council created the group.

Three aldermen volunteered to participate in the task force and will partner up with Sangamon County Department of Public Health to establish an ordinance.

"We have government so we can all work at problems and we don't want to have individuals individually try to take care of these problems that are bigger than any single homeowner,” said Alderman Joe McMenamin, with for Ward 7 in Springfield.

This comes after several coyote run ins, just this year.

"We have had a few run ins with them running up and down the street with a face full of bunnies,” said Wade Ebert.

Ebert said he has had his fair share of coyote sightings, including just the other day.

"The strange thing was it was the middle of the day, but he was not sick, no issues like that, he was just looking for food would be my guess," said Ebert.

According to research, coyotes are very skittish.

If a person encounters one they should try to stand tall, wave their arms in the air and shout.

However, city officials said many of the coyote sightings this year were around schools.

The fear is that a child won’t be able to protect themselves.

"I think normally a coyote would not attack a human under normal circumstances, but what if it's a small child," said McMenamin.

The task force hopes to establish guidelines on how to handle a coyote sighting, as well as how to appropriately harvest a coyote.

In Illinois, the IDNR reports an average of 7 thousand coyotes harvested every year.

Of that number, 75 percent are taken in by hunters or catchers.

The task force will outline who the right person is to harvest a coyote, as well as set a protocol for the Sangamon County Animal Control.

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