Into the Wild
Because being wild — or even Nature, according to some — was never part of its program, Central Park had to put a stop to a coyote's sojourn within its precint. And so with reporters, photographers, and news helicopters in tow, New York policemen went on the hunt, finally capturing the intruder this morning. Of course, it would be an entirely different story if “Hal” the Coyote had settled just outside the park's boundaries.
Rest easy Frederick!
POSTSCRIPT #1: Another coyote article from The New York Times. Count 'em two! Two articles from the Times. Of course, they will soon be followed by a PBS special and then by an independent feature-length documentary directed by Werner Herzog. And finally a Hollywood sequel, Coyote Ugly II: about a girl's wild adventure in the big city, with dreams of becoming a songwriter, but one encounter with a tranquilized coyote changes all of that for the best and worst; the soundtrack will be awesome. So months go by, and a park ranger discovers another coyote who has somehow evaded detection all these time. And it's a female...with Hal's babies! An instant cult of Fauna Davidians is formed, rivaling Pale Male's own fan club. Hysterical coyote-watching day and night. Street vendors will start selling stuffed coyotes and t-shirts. A reunion of Hal with his mistress and offsprings is cooked up, and it will be televised live on The Today Show. Ratings through the roof! Madness! Madness! And Central Park, long the bastion of manufactured nature, will be decreed a wildlife sanctuary by mob rule, forever off-limits.
POSTSCRIPT #2: Or how about a new cable channel, sort of a cross between The Weather Channel and Animal Planet, providing current news reports and analysis at the intersection of human and animal cultures. A round-the-clock, real-time coverage of flu-infected birds entering Alaska, alligators on the prowl at a new Florida ex-urban development, the teaching of orphaned birds the ancient art of flying, pet hyenas and baboons, etc. And I would expect some of these stories, the migration of infected birds in particular, be treated like major weather events, “structured like narrative dramas with anticipation heightened by detection and tracking, leading to the climax of real-time impact, capped by the aftermath of devastation or heroic survival.”
POSTSCRIPT #3: Hal the Coyote died 30 March 2006. Cause of death: “heartworm infection and internal bleeding caused by his ingestion of rodent poison" and exacerbated by the “stress of captivity and handling during the release.” Poor fella.
POSTSCRIPT #4: There is another coyote on the loose in the park.