Coyote on the loose in Queens: NYPD

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MIDDLE VILLAGE, Queens (PIX11/AP) -- A wayward coyote was found in Queens Monday, police said, marking the latest in a string of sightings involving the wild creatures that have made their way into the concrete jungle.

The animal was seen about 11 a.m. near 6222 Elliot Ave. in Middle Village (map), according to a tweet from the NYPD 104th Precinct.

It appears that the coyote was sleeping when officers came near.

"The coyote ran off when approached," NYPD said in a tweet sent shortly after noon. "If you see this animal, please call 911."

Coyotes have been spotted periodically in New York since the 1990s, but a string of recent sightings in Manhattan has drawn new attention to them.

There have been at least four coyote sightings this year in the borough, where on Saturday a coyote was collared by NYPD near a sidewalk cafe in the Battery Park City neighborhood. Earlier last week, a coyote was spotted roaming through Riverside Park.

None of the coyotes spotted in the boroughs have been aggressive and no attacks have been reported. But that hasn't been the case across the river in New Jersey, where at least two residents were bitten by coyotes in Bergen County.

A coyote believed to be responsible for biting a Norwood resident as he walked his dog tested positive for rabies. Even before the rabies results were in, the man underwent treatment for the illness as a precaution.

Experts said New Yorkers should expected to see more of the adaptable animals, which have shown they can make it in densely populated places.

Urban Park Rangers program director Sarah Aucoin told the Associated Press that three coyotes spotted in Manhattan were captured and released in Bronx parks with established coyote populations.

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