NASHVILLE (WSMV) - Employees at Music City Center are used to dealing with tourists in downtown Nashville, but they had a very unexpected visitor on Sunday night.
According to officials with the convention center, the coyote ran past a security checkpoint at 7th Avenue South and Korean Veterans Boulevard around 10:20 p.m.
The coyote then entered the area where the Nashville Boat Show was being held and went into an exhibit hall where employees were working.
The group was able to corral the coyote into a bathroom by rolling down a gate.
Metro Nashville Police Department and Metro Animal Control both responded. The coyote was taken into custody about 30 minutes after the initial encounter.
Central Precinct Officer Brenna Hosey and Animal Control officers used catch poles to lead the coyote to Hosey's patrol car. Hosey drove the coyote to a wooded area and safely released it.
No one was injured during the incident.
Central Precinct Officer Brenna Hosey says a coyote that had gotten into a Music City Center restroom Sun night was just scared. Using catch poles, Hosey & Metro Animal Control led the coyote to Hosey's police car. She drove her passenger to a wooded area and safely released it. pic.twitter.com/YIDWi3x5iz— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) January 14, 2019
Metro officials say Nashville's rapid expansion is forcing animals out of their habitats.
"I definitely don't see this as something going away. I think with the buildup of Nashville, and how quickly construction is happening, we're just taking away their habitat, so they do have to go somewhere," said Metro Animal Control Director Lauren Blackstone.
Charles Starks, president and CEO of Music City Center, released this statement:
I am proud of our team along with the efforts of Metro Police and Animal Control in their efficient and prompt response during last night’s occurrence, ensuring the safety of everyone around."