Could coyotes be the solution to our rodent problem? We've seen a few of the wild animals around the city streets this year, but they were run back out to more rural settings—in Chicago, however, they're letting the animals loose. Over at Chicago Breaking News, they have video (below) of a coyote running down State Street amongst traffic, allegedly hunting down vermin.
Brad Block, a supervisor for the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control, said no one has called to complain, and that the animal has the run of the Loop to help deal with the rodent problem. Block says, "He's not a threat... He's not going to pick up your children. His job is to deal with all of the nuisance problems, like mice, rats and rabbits." Rabbits?!
The coyote likely has a GPS device, which officials fitted a few of the animals with as part of an urban coyote project. Though even Block wasn't sure if the coyote in the video was part of this program... and according to Discover magazine, the police didn’t seem to know what it was doing there!
The Urban Coyote website notes that 250 coyotes have been radio-tagged in the area; they say that coyotes were originally knows as ghosts of the plains, and now "coyotes have become ghosts of the cities, occasionally heard but rarely seen. Although a relatively recent phenomenon, coyotes have become the top carnivores in an increasing number of metropolitan areas across North America." Is New York next, and can coyotes track bedbugs?