I wrote recently about red foxes in Beverly and Morgan Park. My significant other, a neighbor, and others have spotted larger carnivores around the neighborhood.
This morning, my S.O. and our next door neighbor both spotted a large animal running down Damen and around the corner onto 97th St. moving fairly fast. It was the size of a large German shepherd, with a thick coat and long legs, but the head and coloring were definitely NOT that of a German shepherd. This big guy looked like a wolf, although it might have been a wolf-dog hybrid. More on wolves here.
Wolf sightings are fairly rare in Illinois, but since we've seen cougars and all sorts of other wildlife here in recent years, as well as an increase in the deer population, it's not outside the realm of possibility.
In the last few years, coyotes have been seen in many parts of the Chicago area, and even in the Loop. They're seen in the Dan Ryan Woods and adjacent areas on a regular basis now.
We've been seeing a lot fewer rabbits and squirrels in recent months. These guys are probably the reason why.
Here are a few safety tips for coyotes, that you should also keep in mind for wolves as far as your pets are concerned. Wolves and coyotes don't normally approach people. If one does approach you, don't turn around and run, which would make you look like potential prey. Stay calm, back away slowly, and try to frighten it with loud noises. It is probably more frightened than you are.