San Francisco officials search for woman seen feeding coyote

Bay Area

If you are caught feeding a coyote it can cost you a fine.

However, the coyote could end up paying the ultimate price. That is why San Francisco Animal Care and Control needs your help tracking down a woman suspected of feeding coyotes before that happens.

This photo, captured by San Francisco Animal Care and Control, shows someone who appears to be caught in the act feeding wildlife at Bernal Heights Park in San Francisco.

Photo courtesy of San Francisco Animal Care and Control

“You are looking at a woman bringing a tray of meat to coyotes. On days when she is not there, the coyotes wait for her. They know somebody is coming with a tray of meat. We need someone to tell us who she is,” said executive director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Virginia Donohue.

The photo was taken recently.

The executive director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Virginia Donohue says they have received several reports about this individual feeding coyotes. Now they have an image of the person.

“This is the first really good photo that we have gotten. We have heard she also goes to other parks.”

Donohue says people think they are helping coyotes by feeding them.

“The coyotes don’t need help. There is plenty of food around. They don’t need you to serve dinner.”

Not only is a human feeding a coyote against the law, with a fine of up to $1,000, but Donahue also explains why it is really bad idea for the coyote.

“When you feed wildlife, wildlife eventually loses its fear of people. We just had a horrible outcome for that in July. We had a coyote that approached, on five different occasions, toddlers in the botanic garden, getting way too close. So, ultimately we had to eliminate the coyote. The situation was completely preventable because it had been fed, very often by very many people over the course of five years, and eventually it is the coyote that pays the price.”

San Francisco Animal Care and Control is desperately trying to avoid a similar outcome and asking for the community’s help.

“If you know this woman tell us who she is. The number is 415-554-9400. We want to reach out. We want to talk to her. We have to get her not to feed coyotes.”

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