There was a coyote at the State Museum

State Museum coyote NYS Police

A photo posted by NYS Police on Twitter Tuesday.

A thing that happened Tuesday: A coyote -- an actual, living, wild coyote -- found its way up onto the terrace of the State Museum around noon.

State Police responded, and in turn called in the state Department of Environmental Conservation. DEC said that wildlife technicians tranquilized the coyote and took the animal to the agency's wildlife lab for evaluation. A DEC police lieutenant told the media it's not clear if the coyote was sick, but it had been become trapped and was scared. [@nyspolice] [@NYSDEC] [@bern_hogan]

Let's hope the coyote avoids the usual ending to the wild animal story arc. (RIP, Runaway Bison and Albany Bear.)

Coyotes among us
That a coyote would show up around the State Museum -- or anywhere in Albany -- is actually not that surprising. That it would end being noticed is more so.

Coyotes -- specifically eastern coyotes -- have been moving into New York over the last century. There's some thinking that they've been filling niches left vacant after humans pushed out wolves. (Expanding forested areas also help.) And coyotes have been popping up more frequently in this area in recent decades. The Pine Bush is a hot spot for them. And just last year the city of Albany issued a warning about them at Capital Hills. (See also: An interesting Altamont Enterprise article about coyotes in the Hill Towns.)

A bunch of years back, former State Museum curator of mammals Roland Kays, who studied urban wildlife, told us that research indicated this area was a "population sink" for coyotes -- the animals were often being killed by cars.

Coyotoes tend to be stealthy, often capable of moving through urban areas without being detected by humans. And in forested areas? Ha, good luck with that.

Here's an info page about coyotes in New York State from SUNY ESF -- there are an estimated 20,000-30,000 of them in the state.

As the DEC info page notes, coyotes typically aren't a problem for humans and their pets -- they kind of keep to themselves. But it's important for people to not feed them or otherwise get them accustomed to interactions with people, because that's often when human/coyote problems arise.

Lobbying: Justin points out that there's a bill in the state Assembly that would require DEC to report on coyote management techniques in urban and suburban areas. So maybe we shouldn't rule out that the coyote was just taking a break from lobbying.


Damn, that's a sad photo. I sure hope there's a happy ending here.

Please. NO MORE required wildlife management techniques from the DEC. They can't get deer "management" right - or bear, or pheasant, or anything else - don't force them to manage another species when the base problem is habitat destruction due to human encroachment.
Let the predators and scavengers live and proliferate so the number of Bambis goes way down.

Someone should check to see if the stuffed coyote is still in the museum’s Adirondack Wilderness exhibit….


I really really love this story. That coyote is so expressive in the photo. He is so annoyed with himself. "Ugh fine, I will just wait here until someone helps me down."

This is almost as good as the turkey who terrorized the TU building.

@Bob there are wolves in Adirondack hall, not coyotes.

@winnie_the_pew: Thanks for clearing that up! I was getting worried there....


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