2020年1月29日 星期三

N.Y. Today: Central Park Coyote

What you need to know for Wednesday.

There’s a Coyote in Central Park. Don’t Panic.

It’s Wednesday.

Weather: Sunny by the afternoon, but with a biting wind; high in the low 40s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Feb. 12 (Lincoln’s Birthday).


A different wily coyote running through Central Park in 2006.Dima Gavrysh/Associated Press

“Do not feed coyotes,” the police implored people heading into Central Park this week.

If you see one, they added, try to “appreciate” it “from a distance.” And, of course, “Protect your pets.”


The New York Police Department’s message, shared on Twitter, prompted a wave of news reports, along with a few questions on social media.

So, we talked to some coyote experts.

There’s a coyote in Central Park. Or coyotes.

It’s not clear how many coyotes might be in the park right now.

Richard Simon, director of the wildlife unit at the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, said officials had recently received several reports of a coyote in Central Park. Those reports prompted the warnings from the police.


Mr. Simon said that officials were trying to determine how many coyotes were in the park, but that one coyote simply might have been spotted multiple times. (The Gotham Coyote Project, which researches the local population, encourages people to report sightings.)

It’s also not known why the coyote has come. “We can’t say definitely it’s living in Central Park,” Mr. Simon said. “It might be spending time” there and living nearby.

How does a coyote get into Central Park, anyway?

“It walks there,” said Crystal Howard, a spokeswoman for the Parks Department, speculating that it came from another part of the city where coyotes have been reported.

Still, that would require the animal to cross several Manhattan streets.

Coyotes are nocturnal animals and are adept at avoiding people, Mr. Simon said. This coyote, he added, could have “just as easily slinked through backyards” before bolting down a street and into the park.

I then asked Katie Stennes, a Park Slope resident who works as the programs and communication manager at Project Coyote — a different group than the Gotham Coyote Project — about how the animal got to Central Park. (Her group helps inform the Parks Department about coyotes.)

“I assume just walking along the street,” she said.

If a coyote is very close to you …

You should try to stay at least 150 feet away from a coyote, but if you’re much closer, don’t panic.

“Act big and loud,” Ms. Stennes said, to remind it that you’re not its friend.

“Coexisting with coyotes is pretty easy,” she added. Just don’t feed them, and pick up your trash.

If you kill a coyote …

Killing a coyote might help increase the population of this pack animal, Ms. Stennes said.

That might sound counterintuitive, but she explained: “Usually, only the alpha male and female breed. But if you kill one of them, that breaks up the pack.” When a pack breaks up, its former members spread out, looking for food and mates.

Mr. Simon had one additional piece of advice: Don’t befriend a coyote. It could lead to attacks.

If coyotes “constantly see people and think that doesn’t pose a threat,” it might encourage them to have closer contact with humans, he said. Once proximity is established, “it’s inevitable that problems will happen.”

So, how is the coyote adjusting to the big city?

Pretty well, according to Mr. Simon.

He, or she, “is acting perfectly normal” and “seems to be fine and isn’t causing a problem,” Mr. Simon said.

From The Times

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

Daniel Baker and Joel Martinez, the TV hosts known as Desus and Mero, will be honored at the Bronx Museum. [Variety]

Mayor de Blasio will (again) miss Staten Island’s Groundhog Day ceremony. [silive.com]

A prisoner briefly eluded Customs and Border Protection custody at Newark Liberty International Airport. [NBC New York]

Coming up today

Philippe Lançon, a columnist who was injured during the terrorist attack at the Charlie Hebdo office in France, discusses his memoir at the Center for Fiction in Brooklyn. 7 p.m. [$10]

Celebrate the Year of the Rat with a red-envelope-themed art show at DeKalb Market Hall in Brooklyn. 6 p.m. [Free]

The ‘Salome’ Ensemble: The Story Behind the Lost Feminist 1925 Film,” a discussion with a panel of historians, is at the New-York Historical Society in Manhattan. 6 p.m. [$15]

— Alex Traub

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

And finally: Jason Polan, artist of the offbeat

Four boxes on Wooster Street.

A tape dispenser in a grocery store on First Avenue.

A man skipping with his daughter down Broadway.

These are among the sketches by Jason Polan, one of “quirkiest and most prolific” artists in New York, who died on Monday. He was 37.

His family said the cause was cancer.

My colleague Neil Genzlinger wrote that Mr. Polan’s signature project was “Every Person in New York,” which, as the name suggested, was the artist’s admittedly impossible task of drawing each person in the city. Mr. Polan was an observational artist in a busy city. He found subjects and sketched them quickly in just a few lines, often without their knowing.

Mr. Polan also drew a series for The Times’s Opinionator blog called “Things I Saw.”

In 2015, he self-published a book titled “Every Person in New York” and explained how he drew his subjects.

“If they move or get up from a pose, I cannot cheat at all by filling in a leg that had been folded or an arm pointing. This is why some of the people in the drawings might have an extra arm or leg.”

The technique produced “delightfully unfinished results” Mr. Genzlinger wrote.

Jen Bekman, founder of the online gallery 20x200, which represented him, said in an email that Mr. Polan “made celebrities out of everyday people with a few deft strokes of his Uni-ball pen.”

It’s Wednesday — get sketchy.

Metropolitan Diary: ‘Is your name Cornelia?’

Dear Diary:

It was late on a Sunday night. I got on an L train at Union Square to go home to Brooklyn after seeing a play at the Public Theater.

The train was stalled at the station, so I walked to the end of the platform and took a seat in a nearly empty car. After a few minutes, a young woman got on and sat down next to me.

I glanced over and saw her staring at me with a sort of stunned look on her face.

“Is your name Cornelia?” she asked.

“It is,” I said, unnerved. I had never seen her before in my life.

She unzipped her purse and pulled out my driver’s license.

Now I was the one who was stunned.

She explained that she had found it on the ground near the subway entrance. I realized it must have fallen out of my wallet when I pulled out my MetroCard. I hadn’t even noticed.

“I looked around for a policeman, but I was afraid I would miss the train!” she said. “I had no idea how I would ever find you.”

— Cornelia Channing

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