More things to be afraid of in NYC! Back in the day, the gritty streets of Manhattan were feared as the haunt of muggers, rapists, drug addicts, and the like. Now, with crime rates down, a different kind of predator is stirring alarm. Earlier this month, officials at Columbia University sent an email warning to students after three wild coyotes were seen on campus on a Sunday morning. Now video footage has surfaced, shot by blogger Urban Hawks, of what appears to be a juvenile on the frozen surface of The Pond. Urban Hawks writes:
The Pond is steps away from The Plaza Hotel, Bergdorf Goodman and the flagship NYC Apple store. To the west of The Pond is Hallett Nature Sanctuary. This is an area free of the presence of dogs and humans. It would be a perfect place for the Coyote to sleep during the day and was the favorite spot of the 2006 Coyote, Hal. As luck would have it, I had chosen the right spot and time. The Coyote came out onto the ice four times. It played with a bottle, went after some ducks, and eventually disappeared. It seemed quite shy, hiding in the sanctuary between forays onto the ice.
How afraid should urbanites be? Not very, at least for themselves. Attacks on humans are very rare. Pets, however, are a different matter, as cats and small dogs can make a tasty treat for a coyote.