Coyote Visits Roof of New York Bar

Image source: Caitlin Cahill

Image source: Caitlin Cahill

Coyotes are some of the most adaptable animals on earth, and many have made living in urban centers their specialty.  They are so successful at it that many humans don’t even know the animals are there — until they make an unscheduled public appearance, as one coyote did on March 29 when it made a wrong turn and accidentally ended up on the roof of the L.I.C. Bar in Long Island.

The coyote was briefly pursued by police, but successfully made its escape.  Neither coyote nor bar appeared to have been damaged by the experience.

As humans encroach more and more on natural habitats, animals like coyotes, foxes, raccoons and skunks appear more and more often in urban areas.  Urban coyotes are generally benign but can become habituated to humans, and attracted to certain areas by food left out or by people actively feeding them.  They can destroy property, prey on small pets or livestock, or be a hazard to unattended young children.

Here are some hints for living with urban coyotes.  In general, don’t leave food out for wildlife, keep your trash cans tightly covered, and do not leave pets or young children unattended in areas coyotes are known to frequent.  Also, never offer to pay a coyote’s bar tab.

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