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According to CBS5, there’s been an uptick in coyote sightings in urban areas, with Bernal Heights as a recent prowling place.

However, coyote sightings in SF aren’t anything new. You might even remember the reports of coyotes charging dogs in Golden Gate Park in 2007, after which two were shot and killed. Another coyote, also said to be showing aggression towards dogs, was shot last year.

Golden Gate Park’s one thing, however — you should expect to see nature there, right? It’s another thing if you run into one on your way to get a burrito. We’ve heard apocryphal reports of coyotes venturing into the neighborhoods surrounding the Park, as well as sightings in Glen Park. (Where else have y’all seen them? Let’s hear it, comment style.)

But is there actually an uptick in reports? Where are these guys showing up? We’ve left a message with the ACC’s spokesperson, and will update you when we hear back (update below!). Until then, if you do see a coyote, here’s some handy coyote dos and don’ts:

— Never feed or attempt to “tame” a coyote.*
— Do not turn your back on or run from a coyote.
— If followed or approached by a coyote, make loud noises and make yourself look big.
— If necessary, throw sticks or small stones (to scare, not to injure).
— Move towards active or populated areas.
— Always keep yourself between a coyote and small children or companion animals.
— If walking where there are coyotes, carry a deterrent such as an air horn, whistle or walking stick.

Update: On the subject of the CBS5 report, SF Animal Care and Control spokesperson Deb Campbell says “I’m not sure where they’re getting their information.” According to Campbell, “We haven’t had any more sightings than any other time. Nothing at all out of the ordinary!”

She notes that coyotes can be found “in any sustainable area in the city, any sizable park. But so far, we haven’t seen any problems this year.”

On the twitterwire, however, user Connor Hochleutner (aka @metroliner) reports that, yes, he does think there are more out there, and that “Geo. Sterling Park (Hyde+Greenwich) has a notice up about a sighting! Russian Hill!” Great, Connor. Even coyotes live in a nicer neighborhood than I do.

Glen Park Canyon coyote warning sign photo by Jeff Diehl, Spots Unknown.

*that said, Have you seen The Daily Coyote? It’s an absolutely amazing blog. Highly recommend her book, too.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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