Coyote finds SF's Bernal Heights to be a suitable hangout

He’s been spotted repeatedly in a vacant lot right next to some homes in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood. When our TV crew rolled up to the scene on Wednesday, it didn’t take long to spot the coyote.

Coyotes are common in Golden Gate Park and in open spaces like Bernal Hill, but this one has meandered about a mile away, carving out a niche next to their homes for almost a week.

Spotting the animal is quite the curiosity. Many stop their cars for a look at the coyote hiding in the bushes.  

"Yeah it's a little weird, I've definitely been alert for it since my neighbor told me," Klea McKenna told KTVU, as she walked on Brewster Street. "I feel like this is part of urban life mixing with wildlife and this is just what happens."  

This particular coyote has taken a liking to a vacant lot on Brewster Street and word has traveled up and down the block.

“Now we see him every day. Every day he comes out and goes back in,” said a local dog owner, Adrian Martinez. He said it appears the coyote has moved in. 

Martinez has snapped a few dozen pictures in the last week. The coyote seemed skittish at first, but became increasingly bold, venturing onto the street during the day, even lingering with people around.
He wonders if the coyote is getting comfortable or getting hungry.

When Martinez and partner Massimo DeLucia walk their two small dogs, Gaudi and Taco, the coyote becomes very attentive. 

The little dogs are firmly on a leash and appear to be safe with their owners.

So far no domestic cats or dogs have been reported attacked, but they are prey to coyotes.

“I don't think it's a good place, for him to live here. He needs a lot more space to hunt. I don't know there's enough food for him here,” says DeLucia.

Camilla Fox of Project Coyote says a coyote will stake out a spot for a while, possibly seeking its own territory or a mate because it’s breeding season. One resident says he wishes the coyote would move on.

“All things considered, I'd rather it be somewhere else. Because I've got two cats and the cats like to go out. I've been fighting with them for the past week,” says resident John Hayes.

Someone’s cat did do some wandering, perilously close to where the coyote sat, shrouded by a bush.

Many who walk by have no idea they are under silent surveillance and possibly in some danger. But whether the coyote will head back to Bernal Hill, where he most likely came from is anyone’s guess.

Martinez has called the city’s coyote hotline.

“They said basically, ‘Okay, we just like to know they're around' and that's it. They don't plan to do anything about it.” has information on minimizing coyote conflict.