“It’s a coywolf — basically it’s a mixture of a coyote and a wolf,” said Clarkstown police Officer Peter Walker.

The coywolf is larger than most regular western coyotes – up to 75 pounds. They have different coloring, with more gray in their coats.

“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,” Kos said.

Experts said if you encounter a coywolf, you should make a lot of noise, scream and wave your arms to make yourself seem bigger.

WHAT ARE COYWOLVES? Coyotes have lived in the East since the 1930s, and recent genetic tests have shown they are actually a mixture of coyote, wolf and dog - also called coywolves.

The hybrid carnivore has expanded its territory and thrived over the past eight decades, and increasingly wolflike traits are making it a larger, more adaptable animal equipped for survival on the East Coast, scientists say.

In becoming more wolflike, the coyotes might become more effective predators, scientists said.

And the genetic changes bode well for their ability to keep thriving in highly populated areas, including New York City and Cape Cod, Massachusetts, as well as the deer-rich woods of Maine and upstate New York.

Hybridization with wolves gave Eastern coyotes their size and weight, with Eastern coyotes averaging about 35 pounds and the Western subspecies averaging about 25 pounds. Current numbers of Eastern coyotes are hard to come by, state wildlife officials said.


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