A Monster (Coyotes) In NYC?

In an article yesterday from the New York Time they discussed the problem of coyotes roaming the streets of New York City. Here is the opening paragraph;

After a three-hour chase involving tranquilizer guns, trucks, patrol cars and helicopters, the police surrendered Riverside Park back to a coyote who, on Wednesday morning, had started its day atop a big rock near 87th Street in the park, then journeyed north toward Grant’s Tomb. (Read more here)

Ok, see here are my thoughts. Three hours? The police spent three hours chasing a coyote around New York City and did so with a number of resources. I don’t know about you but that was a complete waste of time as I’m sure during those three hour a more dangerous predator was causing a bigger problem some where in city in multiple place. This more dangerous predator is called…a human.

As for coyotes being a “dangerous” predator they actually are not. Coyotes are a low risk predator. They are skittish nervous creatures that would rather avoid humans. I feel bad for the coyotes as there is an unnatural reason they are roaming NYC streets.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh when I say this but; “Really NYC? You have more important things to be worried about then having your police force chase down a coyote who would rather be in a better habitat then the city and it’s “park.”

The Truth…

Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare.  When injuries do occur, it’s on account of trying to feed the coyote by hand, or by trying to break up a coyote-dog interaction, during which the owner may be nicked, bitten or scratched by either their dog or the coyote. Coyotes along with other urban wildlife are often considered nuisances, merely as a result of having been seen. Fingers often point in their direction as culprits for crimes without any supporting evidence. Every year Animal Control receives calls from people who have just seen a coyote, and the reports go so far as to describe the coyote as “bold,” or “aggressive” even though, when asked, we are told that it is just standing there. Many people are not familiar with normal coyote behavior, so misconceptions and fears often result. Coyotes are almost always defending their territories when they become antagonistic with dogs. They have very little interest in humans and would rather avoid us.

If there is a chance encounter where a coyote comes closer than expected, it is easy to scare it away by flailing your arms or clapping your hands loudly, or by throwing a small pebble in its direction. If you have a newspaper handy, slap it on your thigh as you head toward the coyote. If the coyote does not respond, it’s best to just back out of the area and leave — she may be defending a den or pups which are close by.  If the coyote holds its ground, and growls at you like a dog, you can bet she has a den or pups nearby.  She is simply trying to protect them, just as humans protect their children. Do not try and scare her off, just back out of the area and leave. This is the correct human response whether you are alone or with your dog.

I agree coyotes shouldn’t be wandering the streets of NYC. But I hope as the city works to solve the problem they do so without harming the coyotes. While the people of NY are concerned about coyotes “killing someone,” I’m sure the coyotes who are being tracked down by a police force are just as scared if not more.

Remember, life is a journey so hike by faith instead of fear. We live in a world of helicopter parents, overly protective, and afraid of just about everything. Living that way only produces more stress and anxiety. And we have more important things to be concerned about then a few coyotes.



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