NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A coyote sighting on the Upper West Side on Wednesday night has residents on edge.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, the coyote practically scampered over the feet of a CBS2 crew at the entrance to Riverside Park and West 79th Street, the NYPD is now tracking the coyote.
A coyote was also spotted around 5 a.m. at Riverside Park along the Hudson River, between 96th and 79th streets, police said.
The wild animal was seen in and around the park and near Grant’s Tomb on Wednesday afternoon, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.
Chopper 2 was over the scene at Riverside Park near Riverside Drive and 83rd Street, where emergency service units were combing the area.
Police officers walked around with snares also searching for the coyote, CBS2 reported.
“I thought they were going after people with dogs off the leash, and then I saw about a 50-pound coyote, kind of brindle color, running north and then the coyote running south, and then all these cop cars chasing it,” one witness told WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane.
The witness said the coyote didn’t appear to be aggressive. It just wanted to get away.
Authorities lost track of the animal somewhere above 120th Street, and eventually police called off the search, 1010 WINS’ Derricke Dennis reported.
On Wednesday night, Bronx grandmother Sylvia Ruiz told CBS2’s McLogan that she thought she was seeing things when she spotted an apparent coyote.
“Kinda big, it was laying down there, moved its head around a little bit,” she said.
The animal was nestled under the forsythia bush in the backyard of her Co-Op City apartment.
She snapped some pictures through a window and sent them to her daughter who works for the Co-Op City Police.
“She said, ‘oh, it’s coyote,’ so they sent about four sergeants, and they all came in,” she said.
The coyote escaped their grasp, now residents aren’t sure how well they will sleep.
“We got notification through our telephone service that there was a spotting of a coyote in the area,” Carolyn Nathanel said. “I was shocked. A coyote? I heard them being in Manhattan, but not here in the Bronx.”
There was some concern the animal could harm someone, especially if it’s hungry.
“And if that happens, people should get big, make noise and scare it off,” said Sarah Aucoin, director of urban park rangers for the city’s Parks Department.
Otherwise, Aucoin said the coyote is probably more scared of people than the other way around.