SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Two Presidio trails popular among San Francisco dog-walkers were closed Wednesday after reports of several dogs being attacked by aggressive coyotes.
Park officials said the action was taken because it is pupping season among the wild coyotes.
“During pupping season coyotes are especially protective of their pups, and the parents may exhibit aggressive behaviors when they encounter other canines,” park officials said in a news release.
Effective immediately, the Park Trail between West Pacific and Crissy Field and the Bay Area Ridge Trail between Arguello and Rob Hill Campground have been temporarily closed to all dogs on or off-leash.
The closure will last at least until August.
Kathryn Lasater lives next to the Presidio and a coyote attacked her dog, Oscar, on Monday.
She said a pack of coyotes surrounded her and started moving in until she started screaming.
“They were aggressive and they weren’t afraid…that’s scary,” Lasater said.
She and Oscar are fine, but they are shaken up, as are many in the neighborhood who say the ever-present coyotes have gotten more aggressive in recent years.
They want the Presidio Trust to remove the animals now before something worse happens.
Debbie McMicking lives next to the Presidio and said, “I think it’s just a matter of time until one of them darts out and grabs a little kid.”
Right now it’s pupping season, and the animals are more aggressive when protecting their dens.
Jesse Block lives next to the Presidio and said the coyotes and humans need to learn to coexist.
“Why can’t we all just get along?” he asked.
But Lasater and McMicking say they don’t want to wait for something worse to happen.
Lasater said she believes the safety of dogs, children and residents should come first.
The Presidio Trust said they track all of the coyotes that live in the park and that their aggression is usually centered around dogs, They say the coyotes are just trying to protect their dens.