For a few weeks, the population of Chicago has been alarmed by the appearance of coyotes that go out to hunt by day.
Police in Hanover Park, a suburb of Chicago, warned people to keep their pets inside the house to keep them from being attacked by “zombie dogs.”
According to police, in recent weeks they received several reports on “malnourished or abandoned street dogs” hanging around the village. But they clarified that in reality they are urban coyotes infected with sarcoptic mange, a highly contagious skin disease.
“Unfortunately, there is an increase in sarcoptic mange in the urban coyote population. Infected animals suffer from hair loss and develop secondary infections, which makes them look like a ‘zombie’ dog ,” police said.
Infections affect vision, causing these normally nocturnal animals to go out and look for food during the day . The infected coyotes are not usually aggressive, but they should be avoided at all times.
Urban coyotes inhabit metropolitan areas of North America, areas where the population of these wild animals thrives due to availability of food and absence of predators. In addition, in Illinois the urban coyote is a protected species, which means that killing or hunting them without a special license is illegal.
Althia Blair is Strange News Chronicle’s overseas bureau chief, and hosts our weekly podcast. Before joining trange News Chronicle in 2011, Althia worked as a national political reporter for Postmedia News. She has covered many political events on and off since 2006, writing for Sun Media, and producing for CTV and for NPR.