Despite news that several New York state parks
might be closing due to budget shortfalls, NYC's most famous park has found itself playing host to at least one new visitor: a coyote.
In a scene straight out of apocalyptic film The Day After Tomorrow
, the coyote
was spotted charging back and forth across a frozen Central Park lake on a recent Sunday morning. And he's not alone.
Earlier that same day, a group of 3 coyotes
was spotted just a few miles away on the campus of Manhattan's Columbia University. Though neither incident resulted in any direct human contact, experts warn that coyote encounters are only going to increase.
It's thought that adolescent coyotes from New York's Westchester County and points north are migrating south, where they end up mistaking urban green spaces for rural hunting grounds. With the city's numerous parks and college campuses offering plenty of small prey, the coyotes have settled naturally into their new habitat.
Though there's been no official advisory issued by the City to the thousands of residents bordering Central Park and nearby green spaces, area universities (including Columbia) have issued warnings to students urging them not to approach the animals.
But unless the coyotes have received a similar notice, there's sure to be a man vs. wild showdown in NYC in the not-too-distant future.