Coyote, American Jackal, Prairie Wolf, or “Canis Latrans” are now living in, or den-ing in urban areas including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. There are 10 confirmed Coyotes in the city limits of San Francisco. And recently unleashed pet dog’s are being taunted and or harassed by Coyotes who may have been protecting their den. This video shows a Rottweiler facing off with Coyotes. The Rottweiler was unleashed.
In the city of St. Francis(San Francisco) who was the “patron saint of animals” all animals are welcome; however in the 2010 census indicates pet dogs now outnumber children.
As a photographer and animal lover I started hanging out and photographing the Coyotes in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. While hanging out and talking with pet dog owners, and people who do not own pet dogs, I discovered that attitudes about Coyotes in Golden Gate Park varied. For instance on the weekend of Bay to Breakers I over-heard men say they “would chase the Coyote down with sticks and kill them if they taunted or harassed their dogs.” Other comments I have heard were that the Coyotes should be protected at all costs and they should be afforded more right’s to exist in urban areas than pet dogs. In 2007 federal authorities were called in to shoot two Coyotes who had lived in that park, so the city mobilized, and according to the website “Project Coyote” they started “emphasizing co-existence.”
Animal Care and Control went so far as to issue a stern written statement about the Coyotes in Golden Gate Park. San Francisco Health Code 41.12 states it is “unlawful for the owner or guardian of any animal, other than a domestic cat, to permit said animal to run at large within the City and County.” Violating that code can result in a fine and or confiscation of the animal. By the way it is illegal to relocate and or trap wildlife in that park.
While hanging out and photographing the Coyotes in Golden Gate Park I was nipped at and jumped on by unleashed pet dogs, but I sat down ten feet from a Coyote and was never attacked nor taunted by the Coyote. As a matter of fact it seemed, me and the Coyote bonded.
Co-existence is possible with a little respect and caring, and according to the website Project Coyote “education, science and advocacy” will help citizens of San Francisco understand that we must all co-exist. This is the city of St. Francis and living here means we should try to enjoy and nurture the wildlife that lives in our city.
There are many resources for citizens to learn how to co-exist with the wildlife including “Project Coyote” http://projectcoyote.org/index.html
And San Francisco Animal Care and Control Department. http://www.sfgov2.org/index.aspx?page=1056
It is also recommended that we as people try to avoid feeding the wildlife especially Coyotes because they can get the same illnesses and diseases as pet dogs.