Coyote sightings prompt reminders of coexistence with wildlife 

A pack of coyotes was spotted near a grocery store in the Diamond Heights neighborhood two weeks ago, prompting city officials to warn residents of the dangers of wildlife.

Though the pack of four to six animals was not aggressive, Supervisor Scott Wiener said it is rare for the animals to travel in large numbers.

“There must have been a food source,” Wiener said. “This is not to alarm people or advocate taking action against coyotes in anyway, it’s just to remind people of what to do and what not to do.”

Lisa Wayne, natural areas manager with the Rec and Park Department, said when a coyote is spotted the best reaction to keep it away is to make noise and keep a barrier between you and the animal. To keep the animals from getting too comfortable with humans, she said, it is important  to not leave garbage or pet food outdoors so they do not associate humans with food.

“The goal is to keep coyotes wary of humans so that they will stay in their natural environment,” she said.

Wayne could not recall any time a coyote had been aggressive toward humans, but said the animals could become territorial around mating season.

Wiener said there was one instance reported recently where a pack was following a man and his dog in the neighborhood. He said there were no injuries to the animals or humans, though.

Coyotes are not new to San Francisco. Sightings of the wild animals have occurred for decades. Rec and Park officials, though, said this sighting should remind residents the animals do live here and can coexist with humans.

An exact count of the coyote population is unknown. But Animal Care and Control officials have estimated as many as 12 coyotes reside within The City limits.

They have been spotted in the Presidio, Twin Peaks, Diamond Heights, Glen Park and Bernal Heights.

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

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