So, as you know, former Mayor Edward Koch once enlisted a wolf battalion to guard our city's train yards against graffitists. This was in the early 1980s, apparently a wilder time. Obviously, the plan left room for things to go awry: Wolves famously disdain authority and these refused to stay confined to their assigned posts, instead disappearing into the network of tunnels undergirding our infrastructure. Out of sight, the wolves began to multiply. Now, they stalk the parks at night, preying upon unwitting chumps who don't know any better than to avoid areas of nocturnal wolf activity.
In memory of those poor, oblivious out-of-towners, local artist Joe Reginella has installed a monument in Battery Park — "dedicated to the many tourists that go missing in New York City every year," and a "reminder as to why the parks close at dusk," per its plaque.
Here, this PSA explains it better than I can:
Hahahaha gotcha! The video, and also the sculpture itself, are part of an elaborate, recurring prank by Reginella, which you may already have guessed if you saw the memorial to the "NYC UFO Tugboat Abduction" stationed in this same spot around this same time last year. "I love to see the reactions — most people believe them," Reginella told Gothamist of his hoax sculptures.
The trick to pulling off an elaborate joke, Reginella explained, is "having layers and layers of facts to back it up. When people Google the monuments when they are first unveiled and there are no articles in the way, I have a spider's web of facts for them." He has created a bunch of these monuments in recent years, each of which comes with a website, souvenirs (get your Ed Koch Wolf Foundation T-shirts here), and usually a documentary-type video to beef up the backstory. Sometimes, Reginella himself will lurk nearby, offering offhand, corroborating details to tourists puzzling over his work.
An ingenious plan, really, especially when you consider that Koch did actually propose that the city bring in wild wolves to deter taggers. For obvious reasons, that idea didn't get off the ground: The mayor got guard dogs instead.
Anyway, the monument to our dearly devoured tourists will move around the city in coming weeks. According to Untapped Cities, Reginella plans to cart it over to Washington Square Park, Staten Island, and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Keep an eye out both for the sculpture, and for the roving packs of mutinous wolves that won't be tamed.