A Coywolf in upstate New York.
(With thanks to Eric Dresser)
A mutant animal has a suburb of New York City community on edge, with concerns over the threats to the pets and the residents are stalked as authorities try to track down the animals.
Police in Rockland County are on the hunt for the elusive coywolf — a hybrid created when a coyote and a wolf mate – and are warning residents to keep their dogs on a leash and their cats indoors “if you are really concerned with his health.”
“DO scare them away and make noise (bang pots and pans) if you don’t want them in your garden,” the police in Clarkstown, new york, warned in a Facebook post. “Of course, if you don’t mind, than watching them from a window quietly so not to scare them away.”
A local plumber recently shot video footage of a coywolf prowling behind a woman taking out her trash.
“It seemed to be stalking her and followed her up her driveway,” Sean McCormack said, according to the New York Daily News.
The Rockland County coywolf is believed to be one of the approximately 20 live in the New York City area, with most making their home in the Bronx.
In adult, coywolves, which can travel up to 15 miles per day, you can take a mature deer.They weigh between 30 and 55 pounds.
Coyotes, by contrast, weigh between 18 and 44 pounds. They were first spotted about 100 years ago in eastern Ontario. Since then, these canines are migrated to the south and the west, with sightings as far west as Ohio, and scientists are finding traces of wolf DNA in coyote scat in Virginia.
While an accurate count of the number of coywolves are roaming North America, it is difficult, Roland Kay, a leading coyote biologist with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, estimates there are probably more than 1 million.
Coywolves are particularly well adapted to the life in the north-East of the canines have taken to the role of top predator in the region – a position once played by wolves. The animals are especially active around New York City and Cape Cod as well as areas with large deer populations as the forests of the north of the state of New York and Maine.
“We now have a new, big dogs to take over that new role,” Robert Crabtree, chief scientist of the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center, told the Daily Mail. “The right size is going to be selected for us by biological evolution itself.”
Crabtree noted that the evolution of the coywolves are becoming more wolf-like and less like their coyote counterparts in the west.
Good news for the hungry coywolves. Bad news for deer, sheep, turkeys, dogs, and other animals further down the food chain.