Cities are built for people. They are filled with tall buildings and large structures that create lots of indoor space. This means there is not as much outdoor space for animals to roam. But that does not mean that there are no animals in the city.
Small animals like mice and pigeons easily adapt to city life. They make their homes in walls and on roofs where they are mostly out of people’s way. Rabbits and squirrels make homes in city parks as easily as they do in a forest.
Raccoons forage for food in city dumpsters. They rarely have trouble finding a meal.
Larger animals have moved into some cities, too. As cities get bigger, animals like coyotes and mountain lions have fewer places to live in the wild. It can be easier for them to find food in cities than in the wild, according to The Atlantic. National Geographic says that these animals learn to hide in the city, keeping themselves safe from people and cars.
Most people who live in Chicago have never seen a coyote, but they are there!
Some people do not mind sharing their space with wildlife. Others would prefer that animals stayed out of cities. Mice and rats are usually considered pests. People take measures to keep them out of their homes. City officials often try to keep pigeons off of bridges and tops of buildings so they won’t be above people who are walking. But residents sometimes feed pigeons in parks, which keeps the animals coming back.
Coyotes, mountain lions, and other large animals in cities usually stay out of the way. Hardly anyone notices them, but those who do are usually are not happy. People may be afraid of these animals. Rarely, they destroy property or attack pets, Popular Science says. Even these larger animals have an instinct to fear humans. The best way to keep them away is to be scary. Yelling and throwing objects until they leave will show them not to come near. They may stay in the city, but they will learn to leave humans alone. Getting them to stay out of the city completely would be a much more difficult task. It would involve improving their natural environment so that it makes a better habitat for them.
There will always be some animals in cities. People have some control over which animals they allow near them and which they keep away. However, the hiding spots and outdoor spaces of a city are largely the animals’ domain.