(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

(Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner)

Community meeting to address SF coyote sightings, attacks

An apparent spike in coyote sightings and even recent attacks on pets in San Francisco’s parks have prompted city officials to hold a community meeting Thursday by Lake Merced to address residents’ concerns.

Coyotes are native to The City and Northern California, but recent incidents including an increase in complaints to San Francisco Animal Care & Control and two dog attacks have left residents unnerved.

However, an increased number of coyote sightings does not necessarily mean there are more coyotes in San Francisco, said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote, a nonprofit that seeks to protect and educate residents about the carnivorous creatures.

“Coyote sightings vary temporally and spatially, which means that we may see a spike in sightings in one area of The City during certain times of the year, and then no sightings the next year in that same area,” said Fox.

A rise in sightings could mean a family has created a den and raised young in a certain area. It’s also possible that young coyotes are leaving their families and looking for new territories.

Thursday’s meeting, held by Project Coyote, San Francisco Animal Care & Control, the Recreation and Parks Department and the offices of supervisors Katy Tang and Norman Yee, is the second this year that will share information with residents on how to co-exist with the animals.

“Coyotes as predators are self-limiting and self-regulating; they won’t exceed the biological care and capacity of a given area,” Fox said. “The best thing we can do is leave them alone.”

The meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Lake Merced Boathouse Community Room. For more information, email ryan.kimura@sfgov.org or call (415) 831-2787. To report an animal-related emergency, call (415) 554-9400.

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