Baffled New York Police Called to Grab Coyote at Museum


Museums can be vast and wonderful places. They are reservoirs of knowledge, history, and artifacts.

They may often be the territory of raucous field trips, but there’s no reason adults can’t enjoy them, too. Discovery has no age limit.

But there was an unexpected guest on Tuesday this past week at the New York State Museum in Albany. Maybe he’d been there a few minutes, maybe hours, maybe days.

The canine was trying to be as unobtrusive as possible, carefully curled up against a door on the fourth floor mezzanine of the museum.

Despite his efforts, he was still spotted, and it wasn’t long before authorities had been contacted and the fourth floor had been evacuated for the safety of all the patrons.

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The poor critter looked like he’d stepped out of an exhibit and wandered around — how else could a coyote have possibly ended up there?

At first, people were concerned that the animal was ill. Some said that he looked sick, but they weren’t experts and perhaps misread “napping” as “sick.”

Of course, the immediate thought that drifted into most people’s minds was that the mammal was rabid. Why else would he be so close to people, in a crowded public area?

Lt. Liza Bobseine with the DEC Conservation Police denied that the coyote appeared ill, but was still cautious.

“But any time there’s an animal out of place,” she said, “you have to wonder why and how it’s so close to people and what it’s doing there.”

After an initial failed attempt, the authorities regrouped and found another method to detain the coyote.

“They just tranquilized it and it peacefully drifted off to sleep which was fantastic,” said Bobseine. “That’s exactly what we wanted to have happen.”

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Despite the fact that many were shocked to see such a “wild” animal out and about, coyotes can often be scavenging within city limits.

Bobseine confirmed this, saying, “We have a lot of coyotes in Albany County. People are often surprised but they’re very adaptable and they really can make due in pretty close proximity to humans. It’s not all that shocking that one managed to turn up here.”

Just to be sure, the coyote was taken in and evaluated. They wanted to confirm that the animal was just a wanderer, not a carrier.

After being given the all-clear, the coyote was released back into the wild and can be seen scampering off into the trees. It was certainly a day the coyote, the patrons, and the DEC Conservation Police will not soon forget.

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