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Police capture wild coyote at TriBeCa garage

A wily coyote evaded New York City police for two days before being nabbed in a parking garage Thursday.

It was the fourth coyote sighting in Manhattan this year.

The animal first eluded police capture Wednesday near the Holland Tunnel. It was spotted yesterday afternoon on the West Side Highway, and police chased it to an open-air garage in TriBeCa.

Officers cornered the coyote, sedated it with a dart and then carted it off to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Animal welfare officials will observe the animal before deciding where to take it.

"I take heart when I hear that coyotes are surviving," said Scott Silver, who runs the Wildlife Conservation Society's Queens Zoo. "This is a large testimony to their ability to adapt."

It was the fourth coyote sighting in Manhattan this year.

Last month, three coyotes were spotted on the campus of Columbia University. Earlier this month, one was seen in Chelsea.

In recent years, Gotham has welcomed peregrine falcons, the red-tailed hawk, the white-tailed deer, and even the long-gone beaver, emblazoned on the city seal and a key part of its early economy.

Centuries ago, when New York's landscape was covered with trees rather than skyscrapers, a diverse cross-section of animals called Gotham home.

The city was also stomping grounds for wolves, mountain lions, bears and wild turkeys. In waterways, sturgeon and shad thrived.

New York's unique geographic position between northern and southern climates and under the Atlantic Flyway bird route invited a range of critters, said Margaret Mittelbach, of the Secret Science Club lecture series.

But while some wildlife have rebounded, the city will never be the dense forest of yore.

"For every species that is more abundant today than it was 30 years ago, there are two that are in declining numbers. That's the sad news," said Glenn Phillips, executive director of the Audubon Society's New York City chapter.

With amNewYork writer Emily Ngo

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