Wildlife in the City


I take for granted the variety and amount of wildlife that call Chicago home. Once in a while, Liza and I will see some of the resident bunnies that live in the lawn in front of our building. The fact that she’d never seen a bunny while living in NY for 20+ years strikes me as very odd. Add to that our latest sighting this morning….a raccoon striding down the street near my car as we’re approaching. ‘Look at that cat’ she said as we walked up to it. That’s no cat, that’s a 20lb raccoon…the first I’ve seen in the city since I’ve been here. I’ve seen the aforementioned bunnies, the always-present squirrels, birds, rats, even chipmunks once in a while. But no raccoons, until this morning.

Then, as we’re getting into the car, the rascal starts climbing a tree, which shocked me a bit. I guess I knew this, but the ease with which he carried that weight up 20+ ft in the air was remarkable. Nature never ceases to amaze me, especially here in the city.

6 Comments so far

  1. tankboy (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 11:17 am

    We’ve had families of opossum living in our garage on and off and raccoons seem to love our pear and berry trees.

    Yup, the city is actually rife with wildlife.

  2. steven (unregistered) on October 7th, 2005 @ 12:13 pm

    I heard there’s an influx of beavers by the riverfront downtown, mainly due to the gradual purification of the river, but also because of the trees that the city has been planting recently. Some have been downed (the trees) because the toothy fiends have been going about their daily routine.

  3. That Darn Kat (unregistered) on October 9th, 2005 @ 2:40 pm

    The wild kingdom is moving in. I’ve lived in the Loyola area, half a block from the lake, for seven years and for the first five of those saw nothing but squirrels and birds, and a rat or two in the alley. In the last two, however, I’ve observed a number of rabbits (especially on the Loyola campus), a couple of ugly possums, and one big-ass raccoon. I as well was amazed at the speed with which the latter scurried up a tree trunk at my approach. My neighbor swears she saw a DEER in the middle of our block one night!

  4. regina (unregistered) on October 10th, 2005 @ 10:25 am

    late last winter i saw the cutest little fox while running along the bike path near the zoo with some friends. i was so shocked to see him hopping through the snow i had to stop and ask my two friends if it really was a fox. we kept running and warned anyone we came across with a dog, especially those dogs off leash to beware “there is a fox on the path”. everyone looked at us as though we were nuts. foxes in the city??? yeah, right. due to the cold temps, lack of oxygen and bewildered look we were getting from people we started to get a little giddy and after every time I warned someone, ‘there is a fox on the path.’ my kooky friend colleen started saying to them, ‘yeah, and she isn’t talking about me.’

    but beware runners and path users.

  5. steven (unregistered) on October 10th, 2005 @ 12:26 pm

    If I remember corectly, wasn’t there a coyote out near the lake sometime last year? They had to rescue/capture it…not sure what happened with that situation.

    It’s ironic, how we think about the animals moving into the city, encroaching on ‘our territory’, when they were actually here first, before we pushed them out.

  6. cassandra (unregistered) on January 2nd, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

    For about three months, I have noticed a pussum or opussum living near my mother’s house. I live on the westside of Chicago and I have never seen a animal that look so much like a huge tan/white rat. I have always caught a slight glimps of this animal leaving out of the backyard as I open the door leading out into the back yard. I continued to wonder if this animal was truely a opussum. About an hour ago while I was out doors enjoying the night air, I noticed The animal looking told my way. I stood still and said to it “I have finally gotten to see you face to face”. The animal look at me for several second and them it walked slowly back to where ever it cam from.
    I think the animal live some where near my mother’s garage. DO any one know if this animal can survive in this area when snow is on the ground.
    I truely hope it will survive. I also think it might be getting ready to deliver baby opussums? because the animal is very huge around the lower middle part of it body.

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