The 5 – Animals Thriving During Chicago’s Shelter In Place

If you enjoy the series of shows like Life After People, you know that without the encumbrance of humanity some animals will absolutely thrive, make amazing comebacks, or revert to a wilder version of themselves. So we thought we’d put together a list of the top 5 beneficiaries of Chicago’s Shelter In Place order. Now, worldwide, obviously bats and pangolins are probably the best. And I assume mutant ninja turtles are doing well now that uber eats has dropped delivery fees to sewers. But we’re talking just Chicago.


You may have heard that there is an over supply of bacon in the country as restaurants make up a significant portion of the bacon economy. So what happens to all those wonderful pigs in the Back of the Yards waiting for their inevitable plating? We can only assume that in an extended captivity, some of these highly intelligent animals will figure out how to escape. Pigs go feral very quickly when released back into the wild, they grow hair and tusks in a matter of weeks, which will be an interesting surprise when we return to the streets. Our best case scenario is that the Solis brothers have mastered their hunting skills and “locally sourced” wild boar carnitas becomes a staple of the Nana menu.


If you’re like me, you probably love sushi. At the same time, you’re apprehensive to eat something that is uncooked during a pandemic. Due to this feeling, sushi consumption in Chicago is at a low point. What you might not know is that 73% of all sushi served in our restaurants is Chicago River carp. Yes, those bottom feeders are more delicious than you had ever imagined. A little food coloring and they’re that wonderful salmon you pay so much for. Much like Destiny’s Child, carp are survivors. Their numbers are growing quickly. That, combined with their newly found taste for human flesh, may make kayaking on the river a thing of the past.

Real pic from Fox River. Credit: LEO Weekly


With people hoarding Alka Seltzer and a general lack of raw rice from weddings, pigeons are living longer than ever. In fact, if you’ve wondered why the Sears Willis Pigeon Tower has lights on every night, it’s because pigeons have rented many of the upper floors. Is it to mock the peregrine falcons that nest outside the building? Is it to marvel at how, without a team to clean Cloudgate hourly, they’ve made it look like the end scene of a Riley Reid film? Is it simply to declare dominance? We’ll never know. But what we do know, is that no head is safe when our new pigeon overlords take flight.


For years, coyotes have been lurking above our viaducts on the train tracks connecting the city, dining on the delicious rodents you see from your Metra train as you head to work. But with no people on those trains and employees staying 6 ft from all passengers, the coyotes have begun taking those trains into the downtown area. In fact, the Sbarro at the Thompson Center is now fully owned and operated by a team of coyotes. The pizza’s not good, but the service is incredible.


For the past 5-6 years, I’ve been calling into the Mayor’s office in hopes of drawing their attention to the chupacabra problem we’ve seen in the city. You may know that I dabble in music and podcasting outside of my day job, but what you may not know is that I am also an amateur goat herder. Ever since Prince Akeem made it sound so appealing, I’ve been interested. Unfortunately, chupacabras have decimated roughly 40% of the goats I keep on my balcony. Now, with what I have mentioned above, the mythical beast may be our best bet to keep these other animals in check. But at what cost, my friends, at what cost.


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