Infant coyote found dead in Golden Gate Park

After a 5-month-old coyote pup, apparently hit by a car, was found dead in Golden Gate Park on Thursday morning, officials are trying to determine if the youngster is related to the pair of animals that was shot last week.

The San Francisco Department of Animal Care and Control received a call at about 8 a.m. Thursday reporting a dead coyote on Martin Luther King Jr. Way near 19th Avenue in Golden Gate Park, department head Carl Friedman said.

“We did a necropsy, and the cause of death was blunt force trauma,” Friedman said, indicating the animal was likely hit by a car.

The discovery comes after U.S. Department of Agriculture personnel shot and killed a male and female coyote on July 15. The California Department of Fish and Game ruled that the animals were a safety hazard after they allegedly attacked pet dogs in two different incidents near the polo fields that weekend.

After the animals were shot, Friedman said, Animal Care and Control workers searched for their den, hoping to rescue any young. No den was found, however. Friedman said tissue samples would be taken from the pup and sent to a lab to be compared with samples from the adult pair.

The department announced Wednesdaya new public information campaign to urge people not to feed wildlife. Feeding wild animals causes them to lose their fear of humans, Friedman said, which “essentially signs their death warrants.”

Friedman said reports had come into the department that a man in a white van had been feeding the coyotes chunks of meat at the picnic tables near the polo fields before they were shot. The man has not been spotted since, Friedman said.

Friedman said the Animal Care and Control department may learn definitively as early as next week whether the youngster killed Thursday was related to the adults killed last week.

amartin@examiner.com

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