Wildlife Making Noise on Columbia's Turf

Coyotes have Columbia officials on alert.

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Here's an item you won't see too often: Columbia University is having a bit of a wildlife problem, and it has nothing to do with those infamous New York City rats.

The Ivy League school, which is in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan, a highly urbanized area, has seen an increase in coyotes on campus over the past few days, the New York Times reports. Yes, coyotes. Columbia's office of public safety says that three animals were spotted near Columbia's Lewisohn Hall and one was seen by the responding officer, who confirmed that it was a coyote.

"An additional sighting by facilities was called in to base at approximately 1000 hours this morning," Public Safety Chief James McShane says in a memo. "Patrol units were advised if they see any possible coyotes while on patrol to notify the base and maintain a visual but not to approach the animal."

Contrary to popular (and my) belief, the Columbia Spectator says that coyote sightings have been on the rise in recent years. Students are urged not to approach the coyotes or the inevitable roadrunner that is somewhere on campus (totally stole that joke from the Spectator).

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