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Wildlife officials say NYers shouldn’t be worried about coyotes

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BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11)-- A wild coyote dashed through Riverside Park on the Upper West Side Wednesday morning. Despite the efforts of several NYPD officers, the coyote was not captured.

Pat Thomas, Associate Director of The Bronx Zoo said, "in New York City, I think they should be concerned."

Thomas explained coyotes are "beginning to move into a suburban and sometimes ubran environment."

While rumors of a coyote-wolf hybrid have surfaced in the New York City area, Thomas clarified, "the eastern coyote has not interbred with domestic dogs and there are no wolves in the northeast."

New York City Parks Department Urban Ranger Sarah Aucion says the coyote spotted in Riverside Park poses no threat to the public, and coyotes in the city have a unique benefit, "they eat rats," she said. "They eat mice, they eat small mammals, they are performing eco-system services for us."