Reported sightings of wild coyotes by residents of New York have been on the rise in recent years. Officials have confirmed they live in nearly all of the city’s boroughs.
The predator has been spotted from Queens to Central Park in Manhatten, and earlier this year, one was even rescued from the East River. In fact, they have been spotted in every borough besides Brooklyn, and the surge in sightings has begun to worry locals living in the region. However, there’s generally nothing to worry about.
According to officials, sightings during the autumn months are far more frequent because the sun begins to set earlier. While the coyotes tend to steer clear of human activity and shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a threat, one famously charged at a woman in Central Park in 2019.
Wildlife NYC shed some insight into the typical behavior of Coyotes and why they appear more and more in the city. They said, “They are able to thrive in metropolitan areas such as New York because “despite being skilled hunters, they can alter their diet to include whatever is available in their current environment.”
“In a place like New York, that means discarded pet food and trash are on the menu. So if you cross paths with a coyote in New York City, respect them the same way you would any other New Yorker, and give them plenty of space.”
The government-funded Wildlife NYC explained that New York is home to the eastern coyote, and they have been roaming the city’s outskirts for almost a century. While they primarily exist in the Bronx area and have since the 1930s, they venture far and wide into many of the city’s boroughs in search of food.
Wildlife NYC said, “Many of the coyotes currently living in the city can actually be traced back to the original group that first arrived in the Bronx, so they truly are multi-generational New Yorkers. As their families have gotten bigger, they have begun branching out into other boroughs, a situation that any city resident with a growing family can certainly relate to.”
They continued, “Coyotes just want the freedom to independently explore New York City too,” but this may not be of comfort to the city’s dog walkers.” For those who may be worried about the presence of coyotes, Wildlife NYC offers some advice on how to tell them apart from stray dogs.
Many people will confuse the coyote with a stray dog due to their similar size. However, observing the tail and behaviors is one way to tell them apart. Coyotes typically have a black tip on their tail, which will appear lighter during the winter months. On top of this, coyotes won’t travel in packs like wolves or dogs.
Once again, NYC Wildlife clarified that while you are in no immediate danger, avoiding contact with wild animals such as coyotes is always best. Generally, if you leave them at peace, you won’t experience any kind of confrontation.