Their howls pierce the night air in a declaration of wildness. This call, when it sweeps across the rolling hills of Appalachia or the Mojave flats, resonates with the romance of the backcountry. But when it's heard by someone walking down Broadway, it seems eerily out of place.
Opportunities to experience nature are not usually why people choose to live in New York City, but that's what many New Yorkers have been experiencing now that coyotes are taking their best shot at adopting the cosmopolitan lifestyle of the Big Apple. This past spring the canines were spotted atop a Long Island City bar, strolling down the Upper West Side and throughBattery Park, and even at LaGuardia Airport.
The sightings spurred something of a coyote frenzy in print, with articles appearing everywhere from National Geographic to The New Yorker. Not because this is the first time the species has ventured into cities—in fact, just about every city in North America has a population of coyotes within, including an estimated 2000 that now call downtown Chicago home. But if there’s a symbol of the concrete jungle, it’s New York. The fact that carnivorous wildlife is making its home on the mean streets is like taking down the fence posts of the constructed boundary between what we consider manmade and what we consider wild. If the coyotes can make it here, they'll make it anywhere.