Central Park Coyote Spotted; Is It Our Old Friend or a New One?


A coyote spotted last year in the park. Photo by Jordan Yamada.

A coyote was spotted several times last year in Central Park, and even became something of a muse during the early days of the pandemic.

Either the same coyote, or a new one, was just spotted again. On Saturday night around 11:30 p.m., three friends saw a coyote walking near the Reservoir at 90th Street just off of the loop road. Nancy Mendoza explained what happened:

“I was with two friends. We had been looking for the snowy owl, of course. We’d missed her on her perch at the northern pumphouse earlier that evening. We decided to leave after some hours of waiting and searching with no luck. We were walking north in between West Drive and the bridle path and there she or he was in the near distance walking away from us. It was around 90th street. It never saw us—just trotted slowly east toward the bridle path until out of view. The coyote has such an unmistakable lope and shape. We got great, clear views of it with our bins. I still can’t believe we get to be part of the handful of people who get to claim they have seen a coyote in Central Park. Maybe 2021 won’t be so bad after all.”

Here’s the approximate location:

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

NEWS, OUTDOORS | 12 comments | permalink
    1. If she’s eating rats and mice she should be protected, even given a parade from time to time, maybe… although… I haven’t seen that many rodents recently, so… yeah, definitely a parade, if she’s responsible for this.

      I really hate rodents; I used to work the overnights, walking to work about 1:30 AM or so… just let your imagination run wild.

      Ugh… if I had had a small enough saddle and the necessary skills, I could’ve ridden some of them to work, betimes.

      • irish says:

        I believe the cold weather and obviously the snow affect the rodent numbers. last few winters have been pretty mild and led to increased rat numbers last year. hopefully this year’s cold snap will reduce numbers.

    2. William Porto says:

      I wonder how it got there?

      Did it make its way across a bridge, down through RiverSide Park, and then across avenues into Central Park?

      And if so, its quite fortuitous to not cross where there was no park to go to, let alone not be hit by traffic or reported to Animal Control.

      Or did someone transport it there?

      • lynn says:

        I saw one crossing 5th Ave at 91st and heading into the park. The ranger told me not to be alarmed and to walk my dogs away from them. There was also a group of coyotes near Belvedere Castle last summer. It’s my understanding that they’ve lived in the park for years.

      • m.pipik says:

        That’s the route that has been assumed as it would be the safest and easiest for the coyote. It has been taken by other coyotes. Little traffic late at night.
        Another one did that a short time ago and only go as far as West End Ave or Broadway and W 74th before getting noticed and caught and eventually sent somewhere less urban.

        This coyote could be a repeat “offender” as one does have to wonder how they keep find Central Park.

      • tom says:

        A few years ago I was walking my dog in Riverside park one evening when I saw a coyote ambling by with a squad of New York’s finest in hot pursuit traveling north. As the cops passed by I asked one of them where the coyote had come from and he replied with a completly straight face and no hint of humor; “72nd street”.

    3. Jo Baldwin says:

      She’s wild; she’s adaptable; and she’s a survivor, as are we. We were all put here for a reason, some not as obvious as others, but we are all God’s children.
      That being said, as long as we can have a space to call our own and we’re content with it, we have a good chance of getting along.

      • Contrary to your assertion, Jo, I don’t believe that hordes of wild skittering rats are GOD’s children; I think rather that they belong to the EVIL ONE, cursed be his name… just saying.

        Unless you don’t think evil exists?

        And since coyotes eat wild rats, therefore it follows, ipso facto, that coyotes are actually doing GOD’s work.

        On a more serious level, the larger problem is that we’ve gotten rid of all small predators, so the population of prey species is multiplying beyond counting; deer in the suburbs, rats here.

        Nature is totally out of balance here, and if some coyotes have started to re-address that imbalance, far be it for me to argue with them.

    4. Ruth Bonnet says:

      Coyotes are very clever. There are horror stories of a pup being sent down to play with a small dog, and then the dog chases them to the pack, who then devour the dog. So leash is the order of the day!

    5. mque says:

      I see one every other day. If you scream they will run off.

    6. davidaron60 says:

      I saw one in The Ramble this morning at about 7:30. It was skittish and slithered away before I could get a photo. I have a feeling there are more than just one coyote around these parts.