Watch Out Urbanites, Here Come the Carnivores
Raccoons, skunks, possums and certain other animals have long been city dwellers, but now larger wild carnivores are moving into urban areas, according to a symposium presented at EcoSummit 2012, an international conference held in Columbus, Ohio. Leading the way are coyotes, which have established a territory just five miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. They appear to be paving the way for other large mammalian carnivores.
As for why coyotes and other predators are moving nearer to us, there are a few different reasons. Stanley Gehrt, who led the research said, “as cities continue to expand and development consumes land, we are moving into their territories.” Like humans, the large animals are also attracted to the relative ease of city living. Gehrt explained that “they don’t have to go far to find food and water. They’re finding everything they need right there, in the suburbs of Chicago.” He believes coyotes could be a test case for other animals, such as wolves, mountain lions and bears.