It was a normal day in Van Cortland for the Gelshes when they saw what they thought was a dog.
Andrea Gelsh, 76, had suggested they go for a walk around the park, and seemed excited when her husband had agreed to start taking walks along the back paths and up the hills through the wooded areas.
“I thought it would be so fun,” Mrs. Gelsh said, “maybe we’d see some rabbits, or find some of the fun things around the park! There’s such rich wildlife around Van Cortland.”
Instead, it was Bill Gelsh, 82, who spotted the wildlife, but it wasn’t something the park had to offer usually. “When I first saw it, I thought, from afar, it was a just a big husky, but I didn’t see a leash or a collar. When we got closer, I realized it was a lot bigger than I thought it was.” What Bill Gelsh had actually seen was an alaskan timber wolf.
Bill Gelsh had been a professional taxidermist and hunter for a few decades before moving to Yonkers to be with family. So he said that it was this experience that kicked in when he had his wife maintain eye contact and slowly back away. He says that the wolf seemed to not see them, but he wasn’t going to take the risk.
According to Gelsh, the wolf “bent forward and picked up an adolescent pig by the neck and wandered off.” At which point Gelsh called the authorities.
The police and the animal control units have confirmed that no animals have escaped from the Bronx Zoo, but have confirmed the existence of the animal. The park has been evacuated to allow for a proper search of the area. They have advised people steer clear of the park until further notice.
UPDATE: Reports have surfaced that the wolf was shot and killed after attacking animal control personnel. It was found having made a den out of the underside of the bridge near the parking lot. One officer informed the press that the animal had filled the den with a collection of small animals as food, alongside a collection of things that had been lost from the playground, including tennis balls, base balls, and frisbees.
UPDATE: Authorities are reporting that a woman’s body was found underneath the bridge in an advanced state of decomposition. They have also reported that nothing about the body has been implies having been harmed by the wolf, and it is being treated as a murder. More on this as the story develops.
UPDATE: Nearby clothes and identification have led the body to be identified as A████████ ██████.