Coyote in Central Park

A coyote is on the run in Central Park.

As of yesterday, unsubstantiated reports claimed that park workers were trying to capture him. Sadly, given the raccoon rabies epidemic in the park, officials will surely have to be concerned about the coyote being infected. In the past, he might have been released in a more coyote-friendly location. Is that still an option?  We hope so, perhaps after a period of quarantine to ensure health.  Testing for rabies requires brain tissue and  is always performed postmortem.

Poor fellow, I hope he has a good run.

Coyotes are frequent visitors to the Bronx, but how fantastic to have a large wild mammal running free in the heart of Manhattan.

For more about urban coyotes, here is a brief article with links to some interesting research projects: Urban Wildlife–Coyotes Adapt to Big City Living.  The amazing Bruce Yolton has posted photos on Urban Hawks of Central Park’s coyote who cuts a slim, scruffy yet somewhat elegant figure.

Check back for more info.

UPDATE: Three coyotes have been spotted on the Columbia University campus in Morningside Heights. Read more about Manhattan’s coyotes.

Explore posts in the same categories: coyotes, February, In the City, strange encounters, Wildlife/Natural History

Tags: , , ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

15 Comments on “Coyote in Central Park”


  1. […] Central Park coyote (or coyotes, since no one is quite sure how many there are) continues to run free. It is reported […]

  2. John Says:

    Amazing. It looks like the Amtrak right-of-way goes along the river, through an unbroken series of parks, right to Columbia University. From there they could cut a few blocks across the campus to Morningside Park, and then only 1 block to Central Park. So it’s not as crazy as it sounds!

    • Melissa Says:

      Yup, you’ve got it exactly right. Although I’m not sure the Columbia U. coyotes have ended up in Central Park. So far every Central Park sighting is of a single coyote, so I’ve assumed there is only one dog there. But where are the Columbia coyotes? They may have gone back north to Inwood or Highbridge Park, or west to Riverside Park. Or … who knows? Mysterious and fascinating.

  3. Matthew Says:

    Actually, coyotes are a western species that have migrated east during the last century, absolutely loving our nation’s destructive suburban sprawl and stunningly wasteful material culture, invading brand new habitat, like NYC.


    • Yes, you’re right, as far as my research goes. Genetic tests indicate the Eastern coyote is actually a hybrid – coyote-red wolf, or coywolf, to be cute. Although some contend there are also “pure” coyotes in some eastern states. Eastern coyotes tend to be bigger and heavier than western. And like my raccoon friends and like us humans, coyotes are great generalists, able to eat just about anything, able to adjust to different habitats. It’s the “weedy, pesty” species that many people hate that do so well in urban/suburban habitats. I like ’em.

  4. Charlotte Says:

    we have a wilderness corridor that goes through the canyon right behind our house. Sometimes they’re in our driveway (which leads to the canyon), sometimes i’ll wake up in the middle of the night and hear them yapping away, sounds like a dozen down there but can’t be more than a couple. the other day when i was walking Heidelberg Canyon (in front of my house)i ran into two making their way along the coyote trail pictured on my blog. we stared each other down but i was bigger than them and they ran off.


    • wow wow wow. I’ve only seen a few coyotes in my life: one in the Wellfleet woods on Cape Cod, one in Vancouver, and a small pack in eastern oregon. Heard them in eastern oregon, too, while camping out in the desert. Powerful sound.

  5. Charlotte Says:

    Has anyone ever seen a coyote’s set of choppers? like sharks’ teeth only more contained, ready for the kill. small dogs take head: stay away!

  6. daddy0 Says:

    Why do you assume it is “he” rather than “she”? Aren’t girls as adventurous as boys?


  7. Hey Matthew,
    Thanks for stopping by!
    Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe’s theory is that animals are taking Amtrak into the city from Westchester. Well, not the train, exactly, but the rail corridor. I can buy that. But they still have to navigate the city streets to get to Central Park. About 2 weeks ago, the city caught a coyote that was wandering around Harlem, probably looking for the subway stop.

    Clearly wildlife is on the move. We’re developing their territory, so they’re moving into ours.

  8. Matthew Says:

    I remember that great picture some years back in the NYTimes of another coyote in the park: it was a blur zipping past Keystone Cop-looking animal catchers.

    How did the coyote get to Central Park? 4 train from the Bronx, of course, and it jumped the turnstile.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: