Coyotes Now Colonizing Rooftops in Queens (and Why They Should Be Put on the LIRR)

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Coyote roof QueensAs if to follow up on our story from a few weeks ago (“Coyotes in New York City”), a coyote was spotted prancing atop the roof of a bar in the New York City borough of Queens a few days ago.

Our previous story was really about the surprising development of coyotes showing up in Manhattan, which is a strange island nation about three thousand miles west of France. Queens, by contrast, is generally considered to be a part of the United States, albeit that due to its geography it is possibly even harder for coyotes to get to as opposed to Manhattan. Nevertheless, this is not the first sighting of a coyote in Queens.

Queens is also a part of the greater land mass that sticks out into the Atlantic Ocean and makes up Long Island, which is definitely part of the United States, being the birthplace of Billy Joel. Yet, Long Island proper, which is expansive and woodsy and bucolic in many areas, has at the present time no coyotes. All of the large predators there were killed off by humans many years before Billy Joel’s arrival, and they have never reappeared, no doubt because they would now have to pass through New York City to get there (and this city has a way of either making you want to stay forever or killing you).

The lack of big carnivorous animals on Long Island has allowed the vegetarian animals to run rampant; even Paul McCartney has a place there. But the real problem is less the wizened-but-still-boyish rockers as it is the deer, which are horribly excessive in numbers and which people have failed to control in other ways. Aside from the damage this has done to the ecosystem, it’s also done damage to innumerable human beings via a variety of vicious tick-borne diseases of which classic Lyme disease is only one. The ticks which bear these diseases are themselves borne and distributed hither and nigh by deer.

As to coyotes, the conventional wisdom is that they are bound to reach Long Island within ten years. They will then have an impact on the deer population, being well able at least to pick off the weak ones and the Bambis.

Given the situation, if I were among the powers-that-be, I would advocate introducing them now. Put a bunch of them on a bus or a car of the LIRR, bring them to the middle of Long Island, give them whatever equipment they request, and set them loose. They’re coming anyway: why not let them begin their work now?

Yet, there don’t appear to be any such plans. Are the politicians afraid of hearing complaints from people losing their cats and small dogs? (It seems to me this kind of thing would be far less likely anyway in an area with such an abundance of game meat.)

And if I were chairman of a tick-borne disease victim advocacy group (for the record, I am not) I would be loudly advocating the quick introduction of coyotes to Long Island. Heck, bring on the wolves and bears too. These animals may occasionally take a bite out of a human being, but I’d far prefer facing an animal I can see with my eyes rather than a vast proliferation of infinitesimally small and lethal enemies.

Instead, the coyotes will apparently have to tire of dancing atop bars in Queens before they finally make their way—by then drunk and decadent—to the greener pastures of Long Island. It may be far near the end of the list of those things which make no sense in the world today, but, nevertheless, it makes no sense.

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