Rocky the Illinois coyote to get more room but not new home

July 27, 2022 GMT
In this photo provided by Cook County Forest Preserves, Rocky, a coyote, who lives in a caged area at River Trail Nature Center is pictured in an undated photo in Northbrook, Illinois. The Cook County Forest Preserves plans to expand his space to at least 2,000 square feet, at least seven times larger than his current surroundings. Critics, however, believe Rocky should be moved to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado. (Cook County Forest Preserves via AP)
In this photo provided by Cook County Forest Preserves, Rocky, a coyote, who lives in a caged area at River Trail Nature Center is pictured in an undated photo in Northbrook, Illinois. The Cook County Forest Preserves plans to expand his space to at least 2,000 square feet, at least seven times larger than his current surroundings. Critics, however, believe Rocky should be moved to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado. (Cook County Forest Preserves via AP)
In this photo provided by Cook County Forest Preserves, Rocky, a coyote, who lives in a caged area at River Trail Nature Center is pictured in an undated photo in Northbrook, Illinois. The Cook County Forest Preserves plans to expand his space to at least 2,000 square feet, at least seven times larger than his current surroundings. Critics, however, believe Rocky should be moved to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado. (Cook County Forest Preserves via AP)
In this photo provided by Cook County Forest Preserves, Rocky, a coyote, who lives in a caged area at River Trail Nature Center is pictured in an undated photo in Northbrook, Illinois. The Cook County Forest Preserves plans to expand his space to at least 2,000 square feet, at least seven times larger than his current surroundings. Critics, however, believe Rocky should be moved to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado. (Cook County Forest Preserves via AP)
In this photo provided by Cook County Forest Preserves, Rocky, a coyote, who lives in a caged area at River Trail Nature Center is pictured in an undated photo in Northbrook, Illinois. The Cook County Forest Preserves plans to expand his space to at least 2,000 square feet, at least seven times larger than his current surroundings. Critics, however, believe Rocky should be moved to a wildlife sanctuary in Colorado. (Cook County Forest Preserves via AP)

NORTHBROOK, Ill. (AP) — A coyote on public display in suburban Chicago will get a larger den but not a transfer to a wild animal sanctuary in Colorado.

A report for the Forest Preserves of Cook County said the coyote, named Rocky, is “happy and healthy” in his 266-square-foot home but will get a much larger space — up to at least 2,000 square feet — with trees and places to dig.

Critics, however, said his constant pacing is proof that he’s bored.

“You put an animal in a cage they’re not happy,” said Jodie Wiederkehr, director of the Chicago Alliance for Animals.

Rocky has been at the River Trail Nature Center in Northbrook since 2018, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He was found as a pup in Tennessee.

An expanded habitat is in the works at the nature center.

A petition to relocate the coyote to a wild animal sanctuary in Keenesburg, Colorado, has more than 6,000 signatures.

“Because the coyote is an imprinted animal that has lived with humans practically since birth, there is no guarantee it will thrive if moved across the country and introduced to other coyotes,” Forest Preserve officials said.