Coyotes sighted in Southern Hills area of Daly City, residents advised to avoid them

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Coyotes are frequenting the Southern Hills area of Daly City, and police are advising people to avoid the wild animals without running away from them.

A woman who lives on Southridge Way next to San Bruno Mountain Park sent police photos of coyotes she took from her window one afternoon last week, police said Thursday.

Coyotes are actually fairly common in urban areas and suburbs, according to police. They resemble a small German Shepherd Dog or a large fox, police said.

While coyotes usually prefer not to interact with humans, sometimes problems do occur, according to police.

To avoid such problems, people should not approach coyotes or encourage coyotes to approach them, police said. At the same time, it's not a good idea to flee from the coyotes, as this may trigger a hunt or play instinct, according to police.

Rather, people should raise their arms over their head and yell, police said. If the coyote doesn't run away or acts aggressive, police suggest waving a stick or throwing an object, picking up children or small pets and moving to an area of increased activity.

Pets should be kept inside from dusk to dawn, and pet food should not be left out overnight, according to police. Also, people should take care when walking dogs during dusk and dawn hours.