We've definitely seen local coyotes do some strange things around town, including using the pedestrian crosswalk while traversing the Richmond District
. But to be honest, we've never seen them eat a child — or even try to for that matter.
However, a local father is claiming a coyote in the Richmond District attempted to snack on his seven-year-old daughter as she rode her scooter near the Seal Rock Inn.
According to the father, who is only identified by his YouTube handle cfmceroz, he was with his two children on Thursday afternoon at Land's End when a coyote targeted his eldest daughter. After bringing his family to safety, he began filming the coyotes.
Here's how the scene went in cfmceroz's words
It is well known that San Francisco increasingly has a coyote problem, but the city is waiting for someone to get hurt before doing anything— SF Chron outdoors expert Tom Stienstra said in March 2014 that he believes there are over 100 coyotes across San Francisco I have seen them myself more times than I can count, in Golden Gate Park, in the Presidio, right next to Lincoln Park Playground, in the Highway 1 greenbelt.
Finally tonight I took my 5 & 7 yo kids to ride their scooters on the refurbished trails at Sutro Baths Land’s End, right next to the parking lot in the switchback, my 7yo was too far ahead of me like usual when I spotted a big coyote going for her. I ran down and stopped it and got the rest on video. Sorry for the F words. I called SF 311 to report this— 311 operator told me I should call Animal Control or go F myself, my choice. I called Animal Control and they told me it was Golden Gate National Rec Area Fed Problem and I should figure that out or go F myself, my choice. I called SFPD nonemergency and was on hold so long I hung up. So, KRON4, KTVU, etc etc please feel free to broadcast this video and let all the tourists know that SF don’t care if their kids get eaten by coyotes after visiting the Cliff House etc.
Here's the video
shot seconds after the coyote reportedly went after the child:
But when we reached out to Camilla Fox, executive director of Marin-based Project Coyote
, and showed her the footage, she concluded that the coyotes in this video were definitely harmless. She noted that the state doesn't track statistics on how many coyote attacks there are against humans, but said it was "rare."
"There is nothing in this video that demonstrates aggressive behavior by the coyote, nor that the coyote has any interest in people," Fox told us. "Unfortunately, this kind of sensationalist fear-mongering media coverage does nothing to educate people about coyotes and how to coexist with them."
In fact, Fox says that coyotes really want nothing to do with humans; she knows of no documented coyote attacks on humans in San Francisco. "On average, there are a handful of coyote bites per year, while dog bites send people to the emergency room at a rate of 1,000 per day," Fox tells us. "Coyotes are a statistical non-issue in this regard. Statistically, you’re more likely to be killed by a champagne cork or a golf ball then you are to be bitten by a coyote."
If you're still a little weary, here's a handy article that might help you feel better about co-existing with coyotes — because, like high rents, it seems like they're here to stay.