Coyote spotted strolling through Central Park over the weekend

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Man describes seeing wild coyote in Central Park
Kemberly Richardson speaks with the man who saw the wild coyote in Central Park.

MANHATTAN (WABC) -- A large coyote was spotted strolling through Central Park over the weekend.

The video was captured by Brett Cohn on Saturday inside the park's Cherry Hill area -- not far from Bethesda Fountain.

Cohn said he entered the park near West 72nd Street for a morning run when he came face to face with the animal.

"I knew right away it wasn't a dog off its leash, it took me a second to realize this is the coyote," Cohn said Tuesday.

It is most likely the same coyote that has been spotted around the park for several years.

Cohn knew to keep his distance and made sure not to do anything that would scare the animal, which wildlife experts believe is healthy and not a threat to the public if we leave it be and do not feed it.

"Then it sort of walked around a tree, I met it on the other side, it looked back at me and headed back where it started from," Cohn said.

Coyotes are normally shy and usually thrive in an environment like Central Park because of all of the food sources: grass, mice, rats and geese.

Given the time of day, chances are this one had just wrapped up a busy night.

"Coyotes are more active at night or dawn or dusk, usually they prefer to hunt at night when its quiet with people, their nocturnal prey are out," said Katrina Toal with the NYC Parks Wildlife Unit.

While it may seem a bit unsettling, the Central Park Conservancy says coyotes have been seen around New York City since the 1930s.

The best thing to do if you spot a coyote in the Park is to stay calm and stay at a distance. For anyone unsure of what they are seeing, keep in mind that a dog normally wags its tail while a coyote will keep its tail low and close to the ground.

The conservancy says that coyotes naturally want to avoid humans.

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