St. George Unofficial Bank Holiday

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Meep! Meep!

NEW YORK -- A police helicopter and sharpshooters armed with tranquilizer guns were no match for a wily coyote that has eluded capture in Central Park.

"It didn't look the least bit worried," he said. "He leaped over the fence and disappeared in the park."

While coyotes don't usually present a threat to people, Benepe warned that park visitors should keep their dogs leashed to protect the pets.

Officers did locate and shoot at the tawny animal Tuesday, but police said it escaped into a wooded area. Once caught, the beast will be taken to an upstate wildlife facility, Benepe said.

The coyote, nicknamed Hal by Parks Department staffers, may have wandered into the city from Westchester County, perhaps swimming across a river, Benepe said. Another coyote found its way to Central Park in 1999 and is now kept in the Queens Zoo.

"It's very unusual to have them in Manhattan," he said. "They have to be particularly adventurous."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
Leave fur where it belongs