BY JOE DIFAZIO
Police in Rockland County, New York, warned residents Monday night to watch out for a “coywolf,” a hybrid coyote and wolf.
“It looks larger than your average coyote. Very scary, yeah, very scary,” Sean McCormack a resident of Nyack, New York, told WCBS-TV, a CBS affiliate in New York City.
McCormack spotted a coywolf in Upper Nyack, New York.
A coywolf is grayer and larger than a typical coyote, weighing up to 75 pounds. “Coywolf” is an informal name for the creature that can also be called a “woyote.” Its technical name is an “eastern coyote” and it ranges from as far south as Virginia up to Quebec, and as far west as Ohio.
Wolves and coyotes share a common ancestor, hence that ability to crossbreed.
Mark Kos of Chaos Wildlife Solutions in Peekskill, New York, told WCBS that his company, which specializes in animal removal, has captured several of the animals in the past.
“The wolf — they have their wildlife tendencies to attack or they’re more curious, so anything that they see. They’re going to follow; they’re going to investigate,” said Kos, about half of the coywolf’s personality.
Coywolves aren’t typically dangerous and are easy to avoid because they are wary of humans. If an aggressive coywolf does approach, people can scare it off by waving their arms and making loud noises.
New York police said that they will do whatever it takes to protect the public, including bringing in a trapper or shooting it.
“God forbid if it was about to attack a human, then we will do what we have to do to stop that threat,” Peter Walker, a police officer Clarkstown, New York, told WCBS.