Zombie Dogs

  • Fox News
Sunday, September 3, 2017

Article indicates severe mange cases in Chicago suburbs. 

Urban Coyote Research Program Response

We have been getting many questions about this article. The basis for our program is observation - to research what is happening in the wild population knowing that some animals will get sick for many reasons. There will always be a great many parasites that persist in the environment. It is important to understand that mange always exists in the Chicago area population at low levels but pockets may break out temporarily as a family group may become infected at once.

Note, there is little risk of this being spread to well-cared for domestic pets. Most animals that succumb to this disease have weakened immune systems for one reason or another. Remember that a pet is going to have a higher level of care throughout treatment that may make the treatment more effective. There is also the proof that these animals can recover from it on their own; one example of this is coyote 571.

Coyote 115 at capture

We were not able to capture the first mate of Coyote 1 prior to his death (likely from a vehicle), but we captured her second mate, Coyote 115, on February 18, 2004, at the peak of the mating season. Coyote 115 was in excellent condition at 18 kg (40 lbs). He remained with Coyote 1 constantly until her death in 2010. Their relationship was interesting to observe, where at times they were inseparable, and other times they would take short breaks from each other. Still, they defended the same territory together continuously after 115’s collaring date.