|Photo from 1010 Wins|
Cops captured a coyote in lower Manhattan Thursday and are holding the young female at least overnight. She may be released into Van Cortlandt Park as early as Friday night, people who were in on the discussions say. Right now she’s sleeping off tranquilizers at Animal Care and Control.
Dumping the coyote in the Bronx may sound like Manhattan just dumping its unpleasantries in an outer borough, but there’s solid reasoning to it. Most New Yorkers don’t realize that Van Cortlandt and Pelham Bay Park already have coyote populations.
No one is sure if this is the same coyote that’s been hanging around Central Park the last couple months. My guess is that it is. One thing that surprised most people is that the coyote turned out to be a female. People had figured the Central Park coyote as a young male who got pushed out of his territory by dominant males in mating season.
But it does seem that the Central Park Coyote was out and about yesterday. Bruce Yolton said the Central Park coyote–who has a habit of leaving the Hallett Nature Preserve just after dusk–was seen wandering around the preserve woods at lunch yesterday. On Wednesday 1010 says the canine was spotted down near the Holland Tunnel, but evaded cops. Of all the ways a coyote could get into Manhattan, I don’t think the Holland Tunnel was high on anyone’s list. Cops finally caught her Thursday in a parking lot on Canal Street near the West Side Highway, The Daily News reports.
Getting caught outside the park may be her lucky break. The Central Park may have been slated for immediate death and rabies testing for the coyote because of the outbreak of rabies in Central Park’s raccoons. The Health Department may still decide the coyote should stay in quarantine for 10 days to make sure she shows no rabies symptoms.
1010 also quotes a vet saying this is a coydog–half coyote, half dog. That’s not quite right. Genetic tests on similar animals have shown they aren’t “wild dog,” but a mix of western coyote and the eastern wolf that was wiped out. No coywolf has successfully moved to Manhattan, but there are at least two packs in parks in the Bronx. They may move this one out, but another will be sure to try to take over the real estate again.
Check out the Eastern Coyote Research center