Animal Care & Control Concerned About Coyote Interactions
San Francisco – San Franciscans do not seem to be getting the message about how to coexist peacefully with local wildlife.
San Francisco Animal Care & Control has been notified about individuals who still allow their dogs illegally off -leash in active coyote areas despite education, posters, flyers, signs and barriers all warning dog owners to abide by the law and keep their dogs on-leash or, better yet, avoid the marked areas entirely. These irresponsible individuals are putting themselves, their dogs, and the coyotes and their pups at great risk (see video link below). Accordingly, after seeking expert advice and in collaboration with the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, San Francisco Animal Care & Control suggested closure of locations in Golden Gate Park where coyotes appear to be anxiously protecting dens.
San Franciscans share natural places with a variety of wildlife, including coyotes. Temporary park closures are for the comfort and safety of people, pets and wildlife during breeding season. Birthing and pup rearing has the local coyotes feeling hormonally more protective which may result in more assertive behavior (as in the video). Our goals are to give coyote families temporary relief from stress (dogs) while ensuring public safety. Preventing confrontations such as this is the best policy.
San Francisco Animal Care & Control receives many inquiries about options for removing the coyotes. Relocation is illegal under CA State law. It is also inhumane. Lethal removal is ineffective and unethical since another coyote will simply take its place, often within weeks. San Francisco Animal Care & Control and coyote experts feel that the local coyotes are here to stay and their hope is that the community learns to peacefully coexist with them.
San Francisco Animal Care & Control encourages the community to be responsible pet guardians; leash dogs where required and respect temporary park closures. Wildlife in San Francisco needs a little breathing room while its young are present. Urban wildlife is part of the health of San Francisco’s parks – part of the heritage and history of our area – and coexistence is possible with a little give-and-take.Link to film of dogs harassing coyotes in San Francisco: