New Jersey

Coyote Spotted in Riverside Park, 4th Manhattan Sighting in 3 Months: NYPD

A wily coyote led NYPD officers on an hours-long chase on the Upper West Side Wednesday after multiple people called to report sightings of the animal near West 87th Street, then 30-some blocks away and finally in Riverside Park before police contained it near Grant's Tomb, authorities said.

The first call came in around 5 a.m., authorities said, and other reported sightings came in after. The NYPD tweeted around 8:30 a.m. that "the coyote is deeply nestled in the brush. @NYPDnews operations have concluded."

The New York City Parks Department said it conducted a search along with NYPD, "but there have been no further sightings that we are aware of." 

Chopper 4 footage showed several police combing the park Wednesday morning as they looked for the mangy animal.

Early Thursday, a photographer tweeted a photo of a canine that resembled a coyote near Lincoln Center. 

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The sighting is the latest in a string of recent sightings in New York City. Last week, a coyote was captured in a park near a church in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. In March, a coyote was spotted wandering on top of a bar in Queens. In January, one coyote was captured on the Upper West Side, while another was rounded up in Stuyvesant Town.

Across the Hudson River, there have also been several brushes between coyotes and humans, including two attacks. On Monday, Police in Norwood captured an aggressive coyote they think attacked a man and also discovered two dens near an area school.

Earlier this month, a rabid coyote attacked a Saddle River man and mauled a neighbor's labrador retriever. The dog needed about 30 stitches to close the wound left by the coyote and authorities said it would be quarantined for six months because it wasn't up to date on its rabies vaccinations.

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In March, a family in Closter, another Bergen County town, said that two roaming coyotes took up residence in an old doghouse, howling at the moon and creating a nightly nuisance.

Authorities have noted that it's become "quite common for coyotes to enter into urban and residential areas and in many cases make small wooded areas their home," according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. 

The New York City Parks Department says coyotes are common throughout New York State and most are not dangerous to people. Still, New Yorkers should not feed the animals: "Their life and public safety depend on coyotes remaining naturally wary of people." 

The department adds: food and food waste should be stored in animal-proof containers, food and garbage should not be left in parks, and pet dogs should be kept on a leash.

People who encounter a coyote should never run away; instead, they're encouraged to "haze" the animal with techniques like making loud noises or throwing sticks or objects towards but not at the coyote, the Humane Society says.

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