Coyote attacks reported in Rock Island

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Residents say dogs are being attacked by wild coyotes in neighborhoods near Black Hawk State Park in Rock Island, Illinois.

After 20 years in his Rock Island home, Robert Chesser said he saw a coyote for the first time there.

"The thing couldn’t have been more than 20 feet away,”  Chesser said.

Chesser said his dog, Lola, had a close call with the coyote when he let her outside.

“She ran out there, there was a coyote out there and she didn’t know, and I was in the kitchen looking out the window,” Chesser said.

Then he heard Lola yelp and ran to check it out.

"They were going after her, the only reason they stopped because I came out the door,” says Chesser.

Luckily for Lola the coyote only bit her.

"She's kind of spooked to go back into the ravine. She's just kind of learned her lesson," Chesser said.

Bill Chrisman, owner of Chrisman’s Wildlife Services, has caught plenty of coyotes.  There have always been coyotes in the Quad Cities, but he says the coyote population seems to be increasing.

"It's a legitimate complaint.  It's a legitimate issue. We've had more than one dog attack,” says Chrisman.

Chrisman says the growth of the number in coyotes is because of the increase in deer, and that "They have plenty to eat here in town."  He also thinks the coyotes could have pups which could explain why they’ve been aggressive.

"They're very protective and they probably saw these other dogs as threats in their territory,” says Chrisman.

Chesser says he just hopes something can be done so he and Lola can go back to the way things were.

"I would like to be able to let the dog out and not have to worry about it," he said.

Chrisman says one way to keep coyotes out of your yard is to make sure you’re not putting out any food for other animals, because those animals will then attract the predators like coyotes.