Lethbridge Herald

DNA tests being done on captured coyote

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DNA tests to determine if a coyote captured on Chicago’s North Side is the same animal that attacked a six-year-old boy will take weeks to complete, a city animal control official said Friday.

Jenny Schlueter of the Chicago Animal Care and Control said the coyote that was captured Thursday night will be held at a Chicago-area animal rehabilita­tion centre until the tests are completed. Kelley Gandurski, the agency’s executive director said at a news conference Thursday that the coyote would eventually be relocated outside the city.

The animal was captured after being chased by Chicago police and animal control officers for several blocks. It was shot with a tranquiliz­er dart and taken in an animal control van to the animal rehabilita­tion centre.

Schlueter said another coyote was spotted in the same part of the city on Thursday night but it eluded capture. Animal control officers continued to search for coyotes in the Lincoln Park neighbourh­ood where a coyote attacked the six-year-old boy, as well as downtown where a coyote was spotted and a man reported he was also bitten this week.

Experts say the majority of cases in which people believe they or their pets have been bitten by coyotes turn out to have been attacks by dogs, but Chicago officials remain confident, after talking to witnesses, that the animal that attacked the boy on Wednesday was a coyote.

If that is the case, it would be the first confirmed coyote attack on a human in Illinois, according to a wildlife biologist with the Urban Coyote Research Project.

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