Coyote Sighting: Hang on to Your Pups

Oct 12, 2022 | All Posts | 0 comments

We’ve had a report of a coyote which may have been behind the fence that surrounds the leg of the bridge. We will file a report with the Animal Care & Control to report it. Below is information obtained from the SFACC website:

The Seasons

San Franciscans share natural places with a variety of wildlife, including coyotes. During birthing and pup rearing – from April throughout the fall – coyotes can be more protective and assertive. Preventing confrontations is the best policy. Keep dogs on leash and cats indoors. Coyotes will follow dogs being walked to ‘escort’ them from the area near their den. They may show their teeth, snarl, and nip at dogs to keep them moving away from their den area. This is classic protective behavior and does not mean that the coyote is vicious or sick. If you are aware that a coyote is exhibiting this kind of behavior – avoid the area. Walk your dog elsewhere. Protective behavior near dens is always associated with dogs.

During mating season, from December through February, San Francisco Animal Care & Control (SFACC) often receives reports of increased coyote activity throughout the City. This increase in sightings and encounters is due to coyotes searching for mates and mated pairs of coyotes searching for dens. SFACC works with SF Rec & Park on signage and barriers to decrease the chances for encounters between humans and coyotes.

Late summer and into the fall coyotes enter dispersal season. Pups born earlier in the year – or in previous years – may disperse and look for their own territory. Many of these dispersing coyotes are hit and killed by cars. Coyotes are very visible during this time, and are often in areas where they have not been seen previously.

Coyotes in the City

Coyotes are normally shy animals and not known to be aggressive, but they will exhibit assertive behavior when threatened or protecting pups. During pup rearing season it is not unusual for coyotes to be protective of the area near their den. Urban coyotes are familiar with the sights, sounds and smells associated with City, and often show little fear of people. Seeing coyotes during the daytime is not unusual.

Intentionally feeding can result in coyotes losing their natural wariness of humans. Feeding and befriending wild animals is dangerous for both humans – and for the animals – as wildlife that relies on humans for food may end up being destroyed.

People should not be alarmed about the coyotes, but they should be aware of the animals, avoid the areas where there is known activity, and read and follow instructions on signs placed in active coyote areas. Coyotes den sites have become more common in overgrown yards. Please alert Animal Care & Control is you see coyotes moving to and from an overgrown yard in your neighborhood.

Please keep dogs on leash and cats indoors. Coyotes see smaller animals as prey, and do not know the difference between small wildlife and small pets. Outdoor cats can be hit by cars, attacked by loose dogs, become lost, and can be preyed upon by coyotes. Please keep them safe indoors. Consider installing a Catio if your cat needs safe outdoor time.

If You Encounter a Coyote

    • Walk away. Keep moving away from the coyote. Don’t run.
    • Pick up small dogs and carry them if you see a coyote.
    • Do not let your dog interact with a coyote. Do not allow dogs to chase coyotes.
    • Keep your dog on leash – even in designated off leash areas – if coyotes are present.
    • If a coyote approaches you – shout, wave your arms, stomp your feet. The goal is to startle the coyote and encourage them to move away. It is unlawful to harass or injure coyotes.
    • Carry a cane/stick, an air horn or a whistle with you on walks.
    • Never let a coyote come between you and your child or pet.

Tips If Your Neighborhood Has Coyotes

    • Keep pets indoors, especially at night.
    • Never feed a coyote. Feeding a coyote can put your family and your pets at risk as the animal learns to expect food and loses its natural fear of humans.
    • Feed your pets indoors, or promptly remove outdoor food dishes when your pet finishes their meal.
    • Secure garbage cans with a lid that fastens shut or a bungee cord, or keep garbage in an area that is secure from wildlife. Coyotes can tip garbage cans and obtain an easy meal, or prey on other animals that feed off garbage. Put garbage out the morning of your pickup to reduce the amount of time the cans are accessible.
    • If a coyote is frequenting your neighborhood, let them know that they are not welcome. Make loud noises, squirt them with a hose or super-soaker, or pop a balloon. It’s important that coyotes stay wary of humans.
    • Keep pets on leash at all times in areas frequented by coyotes. Keep a close eye on dogs when using a long, retractable leash.
    • Pick ripe fruit off of trees, and pick up fruit that has fallen to the ground.
    • Clean up around bird feeders. Spilled seed can attract vermin, that then attracts coyotes.
    • Keep your yard neat. Overgrown yards can attract wildlife and vermin, and provide a comfortable place for animals to make dens and nests.
    • If you observe a coyote frequenting a specific area in or near a yard or apartment, please call SFACC. There may be someone intentionally feeding.

1) Please lock the gate when you come and go; if it is unlocked when you arrive, lock it.

2) Scramble the combination numbers, so people without the code don’t see it.

Woofs ‘n wags,

The Volunteer Team