(Will Byington Photography )
Will Byington was at the Cubby Bear on Friday to photograph a hard rock band, but his most unexpected subjects came offstage. Between bands, Byington, 34, heard one of the door workers mention over the radios that he saw two coyotes "running wild in front of marquee and Wrigley Field."
By the time he made it outside, he said the animals had calmly congregated around the Ernie Banks statue.
"They were just kind of chilling. Like I've seen people literally doing, stopped, looking at Ernie Banks," Byington said. "They were paused, looking north down Clark, checking out McDonalds."
Byington, who is also a Wrigleyville resident, said this was his first encounter with coyotes in the area, and it was a brief one. The animals only stuck around for a few minutes before scampering away toward the Cubs players' parking lot and down Waveland.
"They didn't seem fazed. There were cars honking, people out celebrating for the holidays," he said. "One of them was almost out in the street. They were just checking it out and moving about at their own speed."
According to the Cook County Coyote Project, coyotes have both natural and urban habitats, the former being rural farms or suburbs and the latter being uninhabited fragments of natural land, such as parks or golf courses.
The organization said human attacks are very rare, with only two being reported in the Chicago area since the 1980s. Attacks on pets are much more common, especially cats and small dogs, so owners are advised to be careful when walking small pets at night. There have already been several cases of coyote attacks on dogs this year, including an Antioch Chihuahua earlier this month.
"I'm not too worried. It might be a little different case if I had a small dog or cat," Byington said. "There's so many other things to worry about in the city. A couple of coyotes are the least of concerns. It might actually help with rat population."
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