Coyotes at Rock Cut State Park

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton
Thousands of stateliners visit rock cut state park each year to see the nature and wild animals.

But lately there have been reports of some of those animals becoming more aggressive towards visitors.

23 News Reporter Joe Hamilton there have been reports of some of those animals becoming more aggressive towards visitors.

Attacks by coyotes on humans are extremely rare, there has been only one reported fatality in U.S. history, but attacks on dogs is another story. There was one just last week in Georgia, and another here at Rock Cut State Park.

Now, officials are wondering if coyotes are growing more comfortable around humans or if this was just another attack on a dog.

For Bryan Cunningham jogging through Rock Cut State Park is something he and his dog Iris do on a regular basis. Seeing coyotes is nothing new, but last week when he heard his dog yelp he knew something was wrong.

“I seen a coyote, and was startled, it went back into the woods and I looked at Iris and didn't see anything,” comments dog owner Cunningham.

It wasn't until he got home that he noticed that Iris was attacked by a coyote.

"When I lifted her leg up I noticed two puncture wounds on her leg,” says Cunningham.

Bryan and iris were jogging near the Perry Path bike trail in the southwest section of the park when the attack occurred. Animal specialists believe the coyote may have been defending itself.

"We think it's to protect the den or the pups,” says Dan Riggs, from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Now officials think that there are only a handful of coyotes in the park and only a small amount of them will even approach humans, but none-the-less, they are setting traps, and hope to have this animal out of the park in a couple of days.

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