Central Park Coyote ‘Acted Like a Puppy’ In Late-Night Encounter

Photo by Jordan Yamada.

The Central Park coyote, first identified on West Side Rag in November, has been getting a lot of press lately after the NYPD warned people this week to steer clear of the wild animal. The coyote appears to have been here for months, mostly keeping to itself in the West 80s. But at times it has interacted with people.

One of those people was Jordan Yamada, who was walking his German Shepherd late on the night of January 1 in Central Park between 86th and 90th. He explained to us what happened.

“I was playing with my dog off leash… fetching a ball. The ball landed near a thicket. The coyote came out and my dog followed it. She ran off with him for about a minute. She came back with the coyote. I put her leash on, but he still wanted to play. He acted like a puppy. Paws down and tail in the air. I was a bit unnerved… but the coyote was not aggressive. I yelled and waved my arms to shoo him away. In retrospect it was a pretty cool experience.”

Jordan called the coyote “an exceptionally beautiful animal to observe up close. My photo doesn’t do him justice.

Yamada tells us that police told him there are actually three coyotes, but the parks department tells us there appears to be one, and we haven’t heard of any sightings of multiple coyotes together.

West Side Rag has published two other photos of the coyote, here and here.

Maybe we’re just projecting, but doesn’t the coyote look lonely? (That being said, the Parks Department does not advise anyone play with it!)

If you see a coyote, here’s what the parks department says to do:

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. Lisa says:

      Are they sure this is a coyote and not a lost dog?

    2. UWS_lifer says:

      I wonder what would happen if I went out there and put a collar on that cute coyote and brought him home with me?? He looks like he just wants some treats, a good bath and a warm bed.

      I’m sure he would get along with all the dogs in my building just fine. Anyway, we’ll see. Should probably check with my wife first.:)

      • John says:

        If you put a service vest on your new Coyote your building can not say anything

        • UWS_lifer says:

          All I had to do was slip my doorman a couple of bucks and he looked the other way.

          Yes, I am happy to report that I have captured the coyote and he is currently hanging out in my living room. Let’s just say the wife and especially the cat are NOT thrilled about it.:)

          I took some video for the curious…I told you all that he was just a big lovable pup.


    3. George CPW says:

      If the coyote is in it’s normal wild state, it will eventually become dangerous, especially to small dogs off leash. If it is being fed by foolish humans, that may be worse. In either case, Central Park is not an appropriate habitat for a natural predator of this size. The coyote(s) should be caught and relocated.

    4. lynn says:

      Is it possible that the coyote is a hybrid? There used to be a pack of large mixed breed dogs in CP on the UES in the upper 90’s. Has anyone ever seen any of the coyotes together? While I wouldn’t encourage approaching a wild animal it would still be sad this was a ‘puppy’ all on his own.

    5. Bobby says:

      his name is Pepe

    6. Four Legs Good / Two Legs Bad says:

      The coyote(s) should be caught and relocated.

      BAD IDEA…unless we want El Coyoté to suffer the same fate as that which befell that poor deer in December, 2016:

      As the N’Yawk Times told us :
      “A white-tailed deer that went from being a minor celebrity in Harlem to a cause célèbre after its capture, died in captivity on Friday, moments before it was to be driven upstate and released.
      The preliminary causes of death, according to a New York City parks spokesman, were stress and the day and a half that the deer spent at a city animal shelter in East Harlem.”

      Other more explicit headlines:
      Beloved Harlem deer died for the sins of Gov. Cuomo and …
      One-antlered Harlem deer dies immediately after City Hall
      (both NY Daily News)
      …Harlem Deer Dies for Sins of NY’s Politicians
      (The Village Voice)
      Harlem deer dies of stress after city, state tussle


    7. LS says:

      MANY years ago I had a stray dog that was half coyote and half German Shepherd (according to the vet). She was lovely and loved playing with kids. She eventually went to live with a friend with 2 children. They moved up north, the children were attacked by dobermans (obviously badly trained as they can be lovely dogs), and she killed both. Kids okay, dog badly injured but survived. Hope this coyote has a good outcome.

    8. stevieboy says:

      This is a little off topic but does anyone remember about 5 years ago when they found a little bear (Yes, a bear) in Central Park. Unfortunately it was already dead but nobody ever explained why it was there or where it came from??

      If memory serves they found him on the west side of the park over in the 70’s. This happened right? I’m not imagining it. Anyway, I never heard any follow up on it.

    9. Christian Herzeca says:

      not sure why some animal rights org doesnt try to get authority to trap this lone coyote and return to rural area. even then it mayn’t survive unless accepted by a pack, but as it is it will starve to death.

    10. Ruth Bonnet says:

      Coyotes are very smart. If there IS a pack, they will send the cute pup down to play and lure a dog (yes, even a German Shepherd) to the pack, who will then take it down. It would be good to see the poor coyote rehoused somewhere more appropriate.