Three wily coyotes who have been on the run near LaGuardia Airport might have received a stay of execution.
An upstate sanctuary that specializes in large carnivores has agreed to take them in, which could spare the pups the unfortunate end their parents and siblings came to in November. Those five coyotes were caught and killed after the Port Authority — which controls the airport — claimed the animals posed a risk to workers and locals.
Their deaths galvanized some animal rights advocates, who vowed to find them a home.
Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff had initially offered to pay for them to be trapped and released to a less urban area, but the state Department of Environmental Conservation said it was against the rules to move them to another spot.
However, the DEC said it would consider relocating the remaining coyotes — which went into hiding after their family members were caught and killed — if an appropriate sanctuary was found.
Shafiroff earlier this month secured a spot for them at Outpost No. 4 Wildlife Rehabilitation Services in Delanson, about 200 miles north of the city.
Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright has asked the DEC to quickly assess and approve the sanctuary so that if the coyotes are caught, they can be sent upstate. “Once the coyotes are captured, our office can immediately arrange for the same day transportation … to the facility,” she wrote.
The trip upstate would be funded privately, and not by taxpayers, she said.
A DEC spokesman said the agency is reviewing the proposal.
The Port Authority also said it will consider the sanctuary.
Frank Vincente of the Wild Dog Foundation, which has been working to save the coyotes, said the state should act quickly so the beasts have a place to go if they’re caught.
But he thinks that’s a big if.
“These three are pretty wily,” he said.
A one-antlered deer that was supposed to be moved to an upstate sanctuary died of stress after waiting for transport in December, but wildlife experts believe coyotes have better chances of survival in those circumstances because they are more durable.