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Coyote Pup Rearing Season in San Francisco

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Lt. Le Ellis Brown

April 10, 2012


Coyote Pup Rearing Season in San Francisco

San Francisco - Animal Care & Control is receiving reports of increased Coyote activity in Golden Gate Park. Coyote pup rearing season occurs April through August - agency staff believes that the increase in sightings and encounters is due to a mated pair of Coyotes protecting their den and newborn pups. Animal Care & Control is working with San Francisco Recreation & Parks on signage and barriers to decrease the chances for dog walker/Coyote encounters.

Coyotes are known to show more assertive behavior during pup rearing season, and it is not unusual for the animals to try and frighten humans with dogs who venture too close to their den. People should not be alarmed about the Coyotes, but they should be aware of the animals, and take action to avoid the areas where there is known activity. Animal Care & Control encourages the public to read and follow instructions on signs placed in active Coyote areas.

Coyotes are shy animals and not known to be aggressive, but they will exhibit assertive behavior when threatened or protecting pups. Animal Care & Control advises that people in the areas of Coyote sightings take common sense precautions to protect themselves and their pets.

  • 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 their natural fear of humans.
  • If you encounter a Coyote, 'vex' them. Make loud noises, throw something (not to hit, but to frighten), wave your arms - it's important that Coytotes stay wary of humans.
  • Keep dogs on leash - and avoid active Coyote areas when walking them.
  • Never leave small children unattended - and avoid taking children to active Coyote areas.

Animal Care & Control reminds the community that it is unlawful to feed Coyotes, or to harass or injure them. Never allow your dog to interact with a Coyote. For Animal Emergencies, call Animal Care & Control at (415) 554-9400.

According to Coyote experts, assertive Coyote behavior is often mistaken for aggression. Following are examples of acceptable and unacceptable Coyote behavior:

Examples of acceptable behavior include:

  • Vocalizing either singularly or in groups.
  • The Coyote retreats at the sight of a human.
  • The Coyote does not retreat, but maintains a distance and does not follow a human.
  • The Coyote shows assertive behavior or aggressive behavior followed by retreating or no further aggression.
  • The Coyote stays put while humans take no aggressive action to drive it off.
  • The Coyote shows signs of curiosity while humans take no aggressive action to drive it off.
  • The Coytoe retreats when humans take aggressive action to drive it off.
  • The Coyote displays assertive, defensive, or aggressive behavior towards a pet but not toward the pet owner.
  • The Coyote attacking an off leash dog.

 Examples of unacceptable behavior include:

  • The Coyote displays unprovoked aggression toward an adult human.
  • The Coyote exhibits forms of predatory behavior towards adult humans that do not have a pet with them.
  • The Coyote does not retreat when humans take aggressive action to drive it off when the Coyote is in close proximity to a human.
  • The Coyote repeatedly disturbs or raids human or high use areas after mitigation measures have not deterred the Coyote.

The Department of Animal Care & Control is a taxpayer-funded, open door animal shelter. ACC provides housing, care and medical treatment to wild, exotic and domestic stray, lost, abandoned sick, injured and/or surrendered animals. ACC aims to adopt, rehome or reunite domestic animals with their guardians and to rehabilitate and release wildlife to their native habitat. ACC responds to animal related emergencies 24/7 including animal abuse and neglect as well as matters of public safety. Animal Care & Control is located at 1200 15th St. (at Harrison.)

Deb Campbell
Volunteer / Outreach Coordinator
Animal Care & Control
1200 15th Street
San Francisco, CA. 94103

Fax: 415.557.9950

Last updated: 2/3/2014 2:17:39 PM