Cappuccino coyote captured in New York City

Police captured a coyote near a sidewalk cafe in downtown Manhattan on Saturday morning. New York City may be home to a dozen or more coyotoes. In Chicago, the population numbers about 2,000. 

A wily coyote is no match for the NYPD.

Police collared the creature near a sidewalk cafe in downtown Manhattan on Saturday morning.

The coyote was spotted shortly after 7:30 a.m. in the Battery Park City neighborhood. Officers tailed her up and down a marina and a Hudson River park for about an hour before using a tranquilizer dart to subdue her.

She is being cared for at the Center for Animal Care and Control. Police say there were no injuries to humans or animals.

It is unclear if the coyote was the same one that was spotted in Riverside Park on Wednesday. At least four coyote sightings have been reported in Manhattan this year.

“They are here, and here to stay,” said Sarah Grimké Aucoin, the director of the Urban Park Rangers, told The New York Times. “They are occupying a niche not held by any other predator, and they perform services like controlling rodent populations.”

All told, the city's coyote population likely numbers in the teens, wildlife biologist Chris Nagy, a co-founder of a study group called the Gotham Coyote Project and the research director at the Mianus River Gorge in Bedford, N.Y., told The AP. It's a number that could increase as the animals continue to adapt to urban spaces.

"We'll just have to adapt our behavior and accept the fact that they're going to be around," says Patrick Thomas, general curator of the Wildlife Conservation Society, who's captured images of coyotes on a motion-activated camera in his own New Jersey backyard.

In fact, more and more coyotes are moving into several major US cities.

Stan Gehrt, an Ohio State University professor who specializes in coyote research in Cook County, estimates that around 2,000 coyotes call downtown Chicago home, but it's likely more than that. He says they are thriving in what was considered a less-than-ideal living situation.

"Once they got there, they experienced higher reproduction, more food, and so now they have no reason to leave," Gerht told the Chicago Tribune. "People think animals living in that habitat are less fit or sick, and the opposite is actually true."

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