This week, Gossip Girl will film at Columbia's Morningside Heights campus. This morning, three coyotes ranged the university's stately grounds. Coincidence, or dark omen?

A tipster forwarded this email from Barnard's Director of Public Safety:

Dear All,
Columbia Public Safety reports the possible presence of coyote's on the Morningside Campus.
Three animals identified as coyotes were observed in front of Lewisohn Hall this morning, 911 was contacted and NYPD responded. NYPD spotted one of the
animals and confirmed it was a coyote. The one coyote that was seen by NYPD and CUPS went behind the CEPSR build and it is believed exited the campus.
An additional sighting by CU facilities was called in approximately 10:00 AM this morning but was not confirmed. All members of the community are advised not to approach these animals.

If there are any sightings, please call Columbia Public Safety immediately at 212-xxx-xxxx or Barnard Public Safety at 212-xxx-xxxx

Thank You,
Dianna M. Pennetti
Director of Public Safety

It's the latest in a string of coyote incidents: Last month, a coyote was captured at 155th street and Broadway; a couple days ago, a New York Times reader snapped a couple pictures of a coyote bounding over a frozen pond in Central Park. Before the past few weeks, there had been only 3 coyotes spotted in Manhattan over 10 years. Why have a cluster of coyotes descend on the upper regions of the island now? A troubling theory: According to Wikipedia, coyotes subsist on "small mammals." This Thursday, a number of bite-sized mammals will be released in Morningside Heights:


[photo via NewYorkology]