CHELSEA — Police caught a 50-pound coyote that was roaming around Chelsea Tuesday morning by shooting it with tranquilizer darts, witnesses and officials said.
Officers with their dart guns drawn and neck snares at the ready cornered the 2-year-old male in the gardens around the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen near Ninth Avenue and West 28th Street about 8:45 a.m., witnesses and officials said.
"He seemed panicked. He was running around. He looked like a big dog, a lost dog. He was knee-high, I would say," said Edrice Jean Baptiste, 26, who works in the soup kitchen. "I was like, 'Oh my, God! Where did he come from? We're in the middle of the city!'"
The feral canine tried to dodge the NYPD's emergency services officers, slinking behind bushes and running in circles around the church's yard, witnesses said.
It eventually made a break toward the front yard, but not before the officers shot the coyote with darts full of ketaset, a ketamine-based solution, police and witnesses said.
"At that point, he was running more slowly... He had been tranquilized with darts. He had two or three darts on one of his sides," said Edward Cohen, the volunteer coordinator at the soup kitchen.
Officers brought the coyote to Animal Care and Control's facility at 326 E. 110th St., near First Avenue, an NYPD spokeswoman said.
The ACC deemed said the animal was in good health and was going to be released in The Bronx later Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman with the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Chelsea coyote comes just over two weeks after a coyote was spotted lurking around Long Island City. That coyote managed to elude police. It was not immediately clear whether the animals were the same.