The infamous ‘TriBeCa Coyote’ of New York City was caught by police recently, apparently she wasn’t clever enough to evade New York’s Finest. Wild animals are staking claim to the concrete jungle of Manhattan, and residence seem to be getting use to seeing white-tailed deer, red-tailed hawks, beavers and the wily coyotes; it endears most and reminds some that they are still a part of nature. TriBeCa’s one year old female coyote led police over a two-day chase throughout the neighborhood, she was finally trapped in a parking lot, where they shot her with a tranquilizer dart and took her to the animal control facility in East Harlem. Her fate is unknown, but she wasn’t the only coyote sighted in the year. Coyotes are thriving in large part to their ability to adapt, and because their natural predator has almost been eradicated, the wolf. However, several wolves traverse freely in Los Angeles.
The environmental laws, wildlife refuges reserves, bans on pesticides and tons of city trash has given a resurgence of wild life. Once threatened species will continue to recover because of conservation measures, such as the waterways becoming cleaner, and greenways are being built in and around the city. Development of faraway burbs tear up the land and flush out animals from their usual homes, forcing them to adapt or die.
Several centuries ago, New York City used to be a swampy marsh, and the landscape was covered with trees and a diverse cross-section of wildlife called this place home; mountain lions, wolves, wild turkey and bears used the area now called Manhattan as their stomping grounds. The waterways were a thriving sanctuary for shads and sturgeon. The Atlantic Flyway bird flew over New York City en route to the once lush marsh lands, which are now tenant buildings or parking lots. However, the unique geographical location of New York being between northern and southern climates creates a mild winter, which makes it easier for many species to survive.
No matter which wildlife has rebounded, more have declined and New York City will hardly be considered a dense, populated forest of centuries ago. But, eventually, if not now, New Yorkers will have to do some adapting of their own. The question is though, what sort of adapting is necessary? Instead of leaving their trash on the curb, should they hang their trash from ropes? If a moose should wander into the city, should New Yorkers bring out their hunting rifles? Or, should they just accept the fact that nature has a way of reminding us, every now and again, that we aren’t the only ones in need of a safe place to live and to raise a family?