Spotting a coyote around Central Park isn't that unusual—in fact, the park has become something of an unofficial sanctuary for Canis latrans. The Parks Department has received 80 reported coyote sightings city-wide through the WildlifeNYC website in the past three years. And this year, there have already been 10 reported sightings in Manhattan so far, Parks spokesperson Charisse Hill told Gothamist today. But she was quick to point out that they believe those sightings may all be for the same coyote.

These numbers come after the NYPD tweeted this week that they've had "weekly sightings of coyotes in Central Park, different locations including Belvedere Castle" lately, and offered some tips on how to peacefully coexist with them.

The Parks Department added, "Our message to New Yorkers is: Keep calm and carry on! This coyote has been hanging out in Central Park for at least a year now. We have no reports of the coyote causing incidents or showing aggressive behavior. NYC Parks provides tips to the public to promote coexistence with coyotes to prevent potential conflicts."

Last summer, Parks told Gothamist that coyote sightings have skyrocketed since the agency began tracking them. In November, a coyote reportedly attacked a man at Rutgers University, leading officials to find a coyote den nearby. That same month, a man described being stalked around Central Park by a coyote—possibly the same one spotted in recent weeks.

If you run into a coyote while traveling to Zabar's, Meghan Lalor of the Parks Department told us the most important thing is not to panic, since the coyotes are likely as afraid of you as you of them: "If you cross paths with a coyote in New York City, respect them the same way you would any other New Yorker, and give them plenty of space. They just want the freedom to independently explore New York City too." She also said that you should never feed them: "Keeping coyotes wild is the key to coexistence," and if one does come up to you, she added, "make yourself look bigger by putting your arms up, and make loud noises until the coyote retreats. Appreciate coyotes from a distance."

The Parks Department's Wildlife Unit has been doing outreach "to educate the public on coyotes and help to promote co-existence," and says they'll be conducting coyote co-existing outreach at the 34th Precinct’s Community Council meeting on Wednesday, January 29th and at Central Park Precinct’s Community Council meeting on Wednesday, March 11th, 2020."

Of course, if you're a fan of the Richard Castle novel Naked Heat, you already know everything you need to know.

You can learn more useful coyote facts here and more about living with coyotes in NYC here. And just be glad you don't have to deal with that creepy chicken who has taken over Riverside Park. It gives me chills up my spine.