SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — The Presidio has closed several key trails, including the Park Trail and the Bay Area Ridge Trail, to walkers with their dogs due to coyote pupping season.

April is when coyotes usually give birth and mother coyotes are known to aggressively defend their territory against dogs. People can still hike, walk or jog the trails, but not with their dogs.

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A sign warning dog walkers that they can’t travel this trail. (Photo: KPIX 5 reporter Don Ford)

“We closed them a little earlier this year, but this is going to be an ongoing thing. This is gonna be a seasonal thing because love’em or hate’em…coyotes are here to stay,” said David Harelson, a Presidio Trust Bio Sciences tech.

The Presidio says they have one mating pair that produces half a dozen pups every season. GPS tracking indicates most of those are killed by cars in the first year. Some have made it to Crystal Springs. However, while cute, coyotes are still predators.

“We’re running and the coyotes are chasing us and they tried to bite him right there!” said Gail Gurman. Last season, Gurman and her dog Flynn were attacked.

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“The coyotes were trying to bite him! Flynn is shrieking! I’m screaming! I was throwing dirt at the coyotes. I just knew I had to get out of their territory. Luckily, they didn’t break the skin, but it was one of the most frightening things I have ever experienced,” said Gurman.

Harelson says that’s to be expected. “This aggressive defensive behavior exhibited from Coyotes towards domestic dogs is not predatory. It’s not predatory, it’s defensive,” he explained.

Gurman supports restricting the trails, but says she want balance.

“I don’t want to kill coyotes. I understand they have a right to life, but we have to protect our environment. I mean, our people, and we have to protect young kids,” said Gurman.

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The Presidio Trust says the selected trails will remain restricted until the end of summer.