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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 eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • Jimbo

    I saw a couple of coyotes a few years ago when I lived in Forest Knolls (western slope of Mt. Sutro). They were just walking down the street, as big as life. I stopped letting my dog out off-leash to do his business after that.

  • Greg Dewar

    I will never forget a town hall meeting in the Richmond a few years ago when there was this lady shouting about the “sex acts” in the park, and then went on to complain about the coyotes and THEIR “sex acts” as well….

    http://www.njudahchronicles.com/2006/08/the_gavin_and_jake_show_comes.html

    This was back when Gavin at least pretended to care.

  • bloomsm

    Saw a coyote last year very late on the Marina Green. I thought it was a weird-looking dog until I realized what it was.

  • clair

    They’re in the Presidio too, though I haven’t seen any recently. And if they do venture out of the park, I haven’t seen them roaming through the neighborhood yet. But I’m OK with that.

  • chrisr

    I saw one in Sausalito between Gate 5 Rd and Bridgeway just last week. Seemed very out of place running through a parking lot near some storage units.

  • Madfoot

    The coyotes who were shot and killed after tussling with dogs — these tussels happened in areas where dogs were off-leash when they were supposed to be on-leash. Those bratty, entitled dog owners as good as killed the coyotes themselves, and for no reason.

  • teena1

    On Jan. 15, 2010 at about 3:30am I sighted a coyote at Russian Hill Park, on Bay st. between larkin and hyde st. The area in between Marina and North beach. When I first seen it I though it was a lost dog but it was too big for a dog, and the feature of the face body looked so different compared to a dog.