CBS News reports that worried New York pet owners are now frequently looking over their shoulders after a recent sighting of a coyote in the center of Manhattan’s Central Park. A man strolling his dog in the park first noticed the animal about six weeks ago. On Saturday, the man’s 70-pound golden doodle Rufus followed a coyote in the park after 9 p.m. in another encounter in the same location.
Terry Meehan told the West Side Rag that his dog, Rufus, was the one who first saw it and chased it down. He apprehended Rufus and then put the dog on a leash. The coyote confronted them after he had done so, but this time even more violently than the last time. He hurled sticks at it in an attempt to scare it away, but it remains unfazed.
— Deborah Allen (@DAllenNYC) March 25, 2019
In March, there is a report about coyote sightings near the same area. People frequently see coyotes around suburbs and the Bronx, north of Manhattan. Seeing one in the heart of Manhattan is unusual.
However, the number of coyote sightings in the town increased. According to 1010 WINS radio, since 2016, there’ve been 62 coyote sightings around the capital, with 36 since December 15 in Manhattan alone. People who report seeing wildlife don’t always say where they saw it.
Earlier today, our Officers got a call for a vicious animal. Luckily, they were able to barricade him w/barriers & our Emergency Services Unit was able to tranquilize him. This beautiful coyote was taken to a Brooklyn Animal Shelter unharmed. Great job guys! #NYPDProtecting pic.twitter.com/XzkC1OtrzT
— NYPD 10th Precinct (@NYPD10Pct) December 23, 2018
Reports may also represent various sightings of a similar animal. A worker for the Central Park Conservancy also claimed that officials said there are already one or two coyotes in Central Park. According to police, the coyote seen racing down a Manhattan highway in Midtown last year was caught and taken to a safe habitat.
Officials also advise dog owners in Central Park to keep their pets on a leash and send any coyotes they encounter a wide berth. Coyotes usually feed on squirrels, rats, and mics, but they will almost certainly come across pets and humans in the bustling Manhattan park.