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NYC Has So Many Coyotes Living There, They’ve Started Going to Bars

New York’s urban coyote population is booming — this week, one even ended up on top of a Long Island bar.

(Hal Beral/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

So a coyote walks onto a bar …

This is not the start of a joke. A coyote was actually found on top of a Long Island bar on Tuesday. And it turns out this is not as unexpected of an occurrence as one might think. In recent years, the eastern coyotes have started roaming outside their historical habitat and into a new one—the urban jungle.

From National Geographic:

Coyotes, native to the middle of America, have spread to the eastern United States in the Past 70 years. [Zoologist Roland] Kays says this is thanks in part to the disappearance of wolves, once the top dog in the eastern U.S. before they were wiped out of the region.

Now that the coyote population has swelled in rural areas, Kays says the animals will be more likely to forage for prey in urban cities. 

And, like so many Americans aspire to do, these wild canines are particularly trying to take up residence in New York. The New York Times reports that each of three Bronx parks is now home to a different coyote family, and lone coyotes have been spotted in Queens and even Manhattan.

What is the city going to do about the newcomers? Welcome them, of course—this is New York! (Remember, the Statue of Liberty is here: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free …”)

“They are here, and here to stay,” Sarah Grimké Aucoin, director of the New York City’s Urban Park Rangers, told the Times. “They are occupying a niche not held by any other predator, and they preform services like controlling rodent populations.” The coyotes preffered urban delicacies are mice, rabbits and deer. (Unfortuantely, they tend to turn up their noses at rat.)

As for the coyote who was found on top of the bar last week, animal control shooed him away. He wasn’t buying any drinks, so they felt he had overstayed his welcome.

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