Updated 1:31 p.m.
BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO AND ROBERT POZARYCKI
Police are looking to catch a coyote that was spotted in front of a Middle Village home Monday morning but suddenly took off into Juniper Valley Park when first responders moved in to nab the wild animal.
Reportedly, residents on 71st Street near Lutheran Avenue spotted the beast curled up in the front yard of a home at about 10:30 a.m.
Officers from the 104th Precinct and the NYPD Emergency Services Unit rushed to the location along with animal care experts. Police closed off 71st Street and Lutheran Avenue while first responders worked to tranquilize and trap the coyote.
But when the officers moved in on the animal, the coyote woke from its slumber and took off, darting across 71st Street into Juniper Valley Park, sources said. The creature was spotted running across the park and Juniper Boulevard North before police lost sight of it.
Moments later, officers rushed to the intersection of Caldwell Avenue and 77th Street after a neighbor reported seeing the coyote in a backyard. However, the coyote was gone by the time authorities arrived.
Currently, police continue to canvass the Middle Village area for the wily coyote. The 104th Precinct reported in an email that, as of 1:23 p.m., “there have been multiple calls into 911″ regarding coyote sightings in the Middle Village area. Reportedly, the wild animal was last seen on the south side of Juniper Valley Park.
Anyone who spots the animal is urged to call 911 immediately; under no circumstances should they approach the creature.
This is not the first time a coyote was spotted wandering through Queens. Last month, Long Island City residents and business owners observed one on the roof of a neighborhood bar before it wandered into the defunct Paragon Paint building.
On Saturday morning, police successfully trapped a coyote observed on the loose in Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan.