It wasn’t clear if the captured critter is the same one seen near Grant’s Tomb on Wednesday or at Lincoln Center on Thursday.
NEW YORK — The calls started coming in before sunrise Saturday: coyote spotted in Battery Park City.
Already on alert after several days of coyote sightings, police officers from the 1st Precinct, backed by specially trained members of the Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit, converged along the Hudson River near 1 World Trade Center just as the sun was rising, officials said.
For the past week, dogs had been held on shortened leashes and children kept closer at hand as a coyote, or perhaps several, roamed the west side of Manhattan.
On Saturday, officers followed a coyote, eventually cornering it in the outdoor seating area of a cafe, officials said. There, Officer Sean DeQuatro of the Emergency Services Unit took aim with a CO2-powered rifle and shot the animal with a Ketaset-filled dart.
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That ended the hunt.
“This one was pretty straightforward,” said DeQuatro, who has been with the Emergency Services Unit for about a year.
He said he had never dealt with a coyote, though he did once fire a tranquilizer dart at a raccoon. “Same procedures,” he said.
Shortly after Saturday’s capture, the 1st Precinct posted a triumphant tweet with a photo of the animal sleeping in a crate: “1 Coyote in custody @ 375 South End Ave. No injuries.”
The coyote was taken to the Center For Animal Care and Control on East 110th Street.
The Parks Department said it “was examined and will be released into an appropriate wilderness area.”
It was not clear whether the coyote captured Saturday was the same one that had been seen near Grant’s Tomb in Riverside Park on Wednesday or at Lincoln Center, more than 60 blocks away, a day later. A large number of coyotes have been sighted across the city this spring, including one that managed to get onto the roof of a bar in Queens.
Perhaps, officials wondered, the coyote now in custody could offer some clues.
“As soon as it wakes up we’re going to interview it,” joked one Police Department official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “We’ll have to get a police dog to do it.”