Police warn Chicago residents of wild 'zombie dogs' roaming streets

Residents have reported malnourished, neglected dogs which are actually infected coyotes 

Mythili Sampathkumar
New York
Friday 01 September 2017 20:38 BST
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Wild, infected coyotes that look like 'zombie dogs' are roaming the streets of suburban Chicago according to police
Wild, infected coyotes that look like 'zombie dogs' are roaming the streets of suburban Chicago according to police (David McNew/Newsmakers)

Chicago area police are warning suburban residents of stray dogs which are actually diseased "zombie" coyotes.

The coyotes are suffering from sarcoptic mange which has made them look like malnourished stray dogs to residents of Hanover Park, Illinois.

People have been calling the local police department with concerns, but the department's posted on Facebook that these are urban coyotes which have experienced hair loss and "secondary infections," earning the nickname "zombie dogs".

The animals are usually nocturnal but the mange causes them to have poor vision and go looking for food during the day.

"These infected animals are not normally aggressive, but should be avoided at all times," the Hanover Park Police Department's post warns residents.

People have advised not to let house pets approach the coyotes either and not to leave food or garbage out in areas where the coyotes could access them.

Experts say the mite-caused mange may be contagious for other canines as well.

According to the Belleville-News Democrat local newspaper, there has not been a coyote bite reported to authorities in Illinois in the last 30 years.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has said coyotes are common in southern, southeastern and west-central areas of the state.

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