SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco Animal Care and Control are warning visitors to Golden Gate Park to not feed a coyote that frequents the area around the Botanical Garden.
The coyote has approached at least two small children. And that's where the trouble lies; it is still a wild animal, even though it seems to have lost its fear of humans, and the concern here is that someone may get hurt.
Coyotes in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park are common enough that video and photos of the canines pop up regularly on social media. Now, one of those coyotes, living near the Botanical Garden has started acting in an unusual manner, not aggressive, but certainly not afraid.
"We do have a coyote approaching toddlers in the Botanic Garden," said Virginia Donohue from San Francisco's Animal Care and Control. "It is very worrisome."
The coyote has reportedly approached at least two children; a one-year-old and a two-year-old, likely because it has been taught to not fear humans. "This coyote is behaving very unusually, he's been fed for, since 2016 by people, so he has lost his fear of humans, and that is not a good thing," said Donohue.
While there are no reports that the coyote has attacked anyone, having a wild animal interacting with people frequently leads to disaster, with potentially fatal consequences for the wildlife.
San Francisco's Animal Care and Control they don't want anyone to harm the animal, but say if it's safe to do so, the best thing for people to do is yell and scare the coyote away.
"You'd be doing the whole city, and all the other coyotes a favor if you continue to make sure that wildlife remains wary and afraid of people," said Donohue.
Visitors to the Botanical Garden say they were surprised to hear about the coyote. "Yeah. I was surprised, I mean I know that sometimes coyotes are in urban settings," said Arasely Martinez from Los Angeles.
But they also know that wild animals should be allowed to remain wild animals. "And that's something that we know. We have coyotes in the area that we're from in L.A.," said Martinez. "And we know you leave wildlife alone. I mean, people think they're helping. But, you're not."
Animal Care and Control say they have reached out to the state and are working on how to address that coyote here that is coming too close for comfort.