Beginning the day bird watching, one native Bronxite ran into a big surprise when he spotted two coyotes strolling through Pelham Bay Park.
On Sunday, March 1, Carmine Guadagno was out with wife, Grace Guadagno, in Rodman’s Neck, off of City Island. Instead of finding birds that morning, Carmine was shocked to see two coyotes walking along the path and crossing over the road towards Orchard Beach.
“There were two large coyotes walking side by side. I have been hunting for a good part of my life so I know what coyotes look like,” he said. “They seemed to be looking for food and people should be warned. They could easily walk over to City Island and grab a small pet.”
According to the Department of Parks and Recreation, there have been no past incidents of coyotes spotted on or near City Island.
“Several coyotes have been sighted in Pelham Bay Park, in vicinity of Split Rock Golf Course. In general, the population numbers of coyotes in the New York City area are very small,” noted a Parks pepresentative. “Coyotes are mostly nocturnal and, like most wild animals, they will avoid humans.”
President of the City Island Civic Association, Bill Stanton, does not believe the coyotes pose a threat at this time, with no member of the community expressing a serious concern for the wild animal.
“The park is getting back to nature. We have deer and coyote, it’s almost like a wildlife preserve,” said Stanton. “As long as no one is getting hurt, it’s their park as well as ours and if we could coexist that would be great.”
In case anyone sees or finds themselves in the vicinity of a coyote, Parks personnel suggests you remain calm, as it is unlikely the animal will approach a human. If it does, loud noises will typically scare it away.
According to Parks, if coyotes have been spotted in your area, people should keep small pets on a leash, and pet food should not be kept outside your residence. It is always recommended that people keep a close watch on their children and pets when outdoors.
For more information visit www.nyc.gov/parks and contact your local Urban Par Ranger Nature Center.