SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – The San Francisco Botanical Gardens is warning visitors about active coyotes in the area, especially after an alarming encounter with two small children earlier this month.
Witnesses say a coyote there quickly approached a one-year-old and two-year-old before their parents and staff at the park jolted into action.
Animal care and control said they’re aware of the encounter and concerned with the coyote’s behavior. They believe it’s been fed frequently by humans and no longer afraid.
Meanwhile, visitors say it’s important to pay attention to your surroundings and follow a few steps to stay safe.
A frightening close call with a coyote in San Francisco.
Zoe Williams says that’s how her friend who witnessed the recent incident describes it.
The sighting happened at the Botanical Gardens when two women brought their small children to the area to play. One of them described it as a traumatic encounter when a coyote quickly approached the two toddlers.
Thankfully, no one was physically hurt but now signs are posted at the gardens, warning visitors that it’s coyote pupping season and there’s an active coyote den in the area.
As newer parents, Cherrymae Jumoc-Casas and her husband JJ share concerns about possibly aggressive coyotes but say they’ve come to the park often enough to feel safe in situations as long as they’re able to keep their distance.
Animal care and control says during pupping season, coyotes may act more defensive.
They say they’re aware of the recent close encounter and are concerned about the coyote’s behavior. They believe the coyote’s been fed extensively by humans and therefore not afraid of them.
If you’re aware of coyotes in your area, experts say you should not feed them and remove any attractions like food waste and pet food from an area. If you’re approached, they say pick up small children and pets, act big, make loud noises and do not run.
San Francisco Animal Care and Control says they’re currently consulting experts on next steps to ensure safety of both visitors and the coyotes at the Botanical Gardens.