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Friday, August 19, 2011

Tips on How to Cohabit with Coyotes

Posted By and on Fri, Aug 19, 2011 at 8:45 AM

click to enlarge FLCKR/BER"ZOPHUS"
Like it or not, coyotes have moved back into San Francisco and settled in, mainly in the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, and on Bernal Hill over the last decade. Now, says Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), it's time to get to know our furry neighbors -- not be afraid of them.

Ma and the California Department of Fish and Game will be in the Richmond today, teaching people about how to live with these urban jackals.

We're not quite sure what Ma knows about living with coyotes, but because you probably don't want to sit through some boring bureaucratic workshop, we'll just give you the CliffsNotes version of dos and don'ts.

1. Be an Unfriendly Neighbor: This means no going over with a home-baked pie (or opening your garbage can) to welcome the coyotes to the hood. Coyotes are naturally scared of humans, but when given access to good cooking and garbage, they suddenly have no fear. That's when you really need to watch out.

2. Scare them. If you're followed by a coyote, make loud noises and -- if necessary -- throw rocks in their direction. We take this as a good maxim for life, too. "If necessary, throw rocks" would make a decent political bumper sticker, too.

3. Mow your lawn.  Hmm ... this is a curious one. However, coyotes apparently have preferences when it comes to yard of the month. The taller the grass, the easier it is for these prairie wolves to hide out and surprise you when you least expect it. So go and tidy it up! 

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Caroline Chen

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