Now that it’s my namesake month, all sorts of cool shit is going down. One such thing that kicks off and runs (roughly) through August is the ever-adorable coyote pup rearing season, which mostly takes place in Golden Gate Park.
No, it’s not an event; as an Animal Care and Control press release reports, there has been increased coyote activity in that area as a mated pair of coyotes are busily protecting their den and newborn pups. This is nature, y’all.
As adorable as newborn coyotes are, Animal Care and Control, as well as SF Rec and Park are committed to helping nature take its course and protect both people and coyotes from any unwanted encounters. As the Chron recently noted, coyotes are more assertive during pup rearing season and usually try to frighten any humans with dogs. Those who do encounter coyotes should be aware of the animals, rather than frightened, and take necessary steps to avoid them.
Rec and Park is taking an extra step to help you avoid any interactions, by closing some trails in the area of John F. Kennedy Drive between Middle Lake and North Lake, near the bison paddock, ACC Lt. Le-Ellis Brown said Wednesday.
Brown said the trails are expected to remain closed until the end of pupping season in early August, but could reopen earlier.
In the meantime, Brown said, “we’re encouraging the public to keep their dogs on leash, and asking people to stay out of the area if they can.”
Rec and Park spokesperson Sarah Ballard told the Chron that though “the only way a den is threatened is by off-leash dogs,” walkers and joggers are also warned away from the area.
According to ABC7, coyotes have been spotted in Bernal Heights, Glen Canyon, Twin Peaks and even near Lombard Street, so just because you’re not in Golden Gate Park doesn’t mean you might not run into one.
So remember, never feed a coyote, as coyotes are wild animals and not domesticated pets. Keep your dog on a leash and do not leave small children unattended. If you do encounter a coyote, make loud noises, throw something, and/or wave your arms to frighten them; that’s vexing, which is an important step to maintain both you and the coyote’s safety.
Coyotes do tend to exhibit assertive behavior that borders on the aggressive. Some examples of these behaviors include attacking off-leash dogs, showing signs of curiosity towards humans, and vocalizing alone or in groups. If a coyote starts exhibiting predatory behavior towards humans who don’t have pets with them or displays unprovoked aggression, then it’s a problem.
For animal emergencies, call Animal Care and Control at (415) 554-9400.