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Coyote sightings curtail dog walking in Golden Gate Park

Trails closed for pupping season
Stay away from my pups: Pupping season has restricted trail access Photo: Ken-ichi / flickr

A recent event in Golden Gate Park where a coyote charged a woman and her two dogs has prompted S.F. Recreation and Park to close a section of trails temporarily to dog walking.

Haley Bratton said she regularly sees coyotes near the bison paddock on her walks in the park, but April 5 was the first time one shadowed her and her pets, taking a short charge at them.

April is the beginning of coyote pup-rearing season, and it is presumed that this is a case of a parental pair assertively protecting their hidden den.

“The coyotes have been stalking and following people, and baring their teeth and things of that nature, which is normal behavior for coyotes, especially when there is another dog,” S.F. Animal Care and Control Lt. Le-Ellis Brown told ABC-7 News.

Since this latest incident, more than 20 signs have been posted on trails around the Chain of Lakes — in the northwest corner of the park, between the golf course and the bison paddock – warning people with dogs away from the area.

While only dog walking is being limited, S.F. Recreation and Park spokesperson Sarah Ballard recommended that walkers and joggers avoid these trails as well.

The posted trails will remain restricted until the end of pupping season in early August, but they could reopen earlier. Dogs are still welcome in the remainder of the park.

Animal Care and Control asks that if you see a coyote acting aggressively or exhibiting strange behavior, call 415-554-9400. The agency also keeps a log of coyote sightings in San Francisco; e-mail the date, time, location and any other details of a sighting to acc@sfgov.org.

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