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GGP closes areas to dogs amid Coyote threat

Watch out, partner. There’s coyotes in these woods.

No, really.

After receiving numerous reports of close encounters between coyotes and pets, portions of Golden Gate Park are now temporarily closed to dogs.  Starting today, JFK Drive between North Lake and Middle Lake will be a no-dog zone during coyote pupping season.

San Francisco dogs owners have reported that these particular coyotes are more assertive than others, not hesitating to approach them.

Mike Moran, a San Francisco veterinarian, documented one of these confrontations on his cell phone. The video depicts a coyote running toward another pedestrian and a dog, which ultimately ended peacefully.

Still, the uncharacteristic nature of these usually skittish canines has dog owners worried.

Haley Bratton encountered a notably aggressive coyote when walking her 8-year-old pit bulls, which she claims stalked them, snarling:

“Once it saw us, it headed across the street, 120 yards, ran right at us.”

Pupping season for coyotes runs from April through August. This is most likely the reason coyotes roaming the park are becoming hostile.

A quarter mile of JFK Drive between North Lake and Middle Lake will be closed to dogs starting today, said park officials. This area will be closed to dogs until pupping season is over.

Lt. Le-Ellis Brown of San Francisco Animal Care and Control told KTVU owners should be wary and keep dogs close, but to be prepared in the event of a coyote encounter:

“We tell everyone, of course, keep your dogs on leash and if you can avoid the area, avoid the area. But if a coyote does approach, try and vex them off by making loud noises, raising your hands.”

Officials estimate there may be a couple of dozen coyotes in San Francisco, not including those that may be in the Presidio.

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