SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Coyotes are an increasingly visible fact of life in many San Francisco neighborhoods, often straying beyond protected parkland and inspiring both awe and fear in residents.

Wildlife researchers estimate that about a dozen coyotes make their home in the country’s second-most densely populated major city, which is surrounded on three sides by water. The first sighting in decades was reported in 2001.

The city’s Animal Care and Control agency says reports of coyote attacks on humans are virtually nonexistent, but they have been known to chase unleashed dogs and prey upon the occasional cat.

The animals have made some enemies — mainly those who view them as a hazard to pets and children.

But advocates say coyotes are misunderstood creatures that add a thrilling taste of the wild to the urban landscape.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report)

Comments (3)
  1. Bloodhounds says:

    How about the coyotes that attacked 2 ridgebacks in Golden Gate Park a couple of years ago. Ridgebacks are good sized dogs. I see them on the grounds of Laguna Honda Hospital and walking on O’Shannesey. There’s more around than 12.

  2. Wile E. Coyote says:

    Good, let them attack unleashed dogs. If people choose to leave their dogs unleashed, then they should suffer the consequences.