While most of us wouldn't bat an eye at seeing one of these thirty-plus-pound canines in more rural Bay Area landscapes, witnessing one scurrying – with a rat in its jaws, no less – around downtown SF is worthy of a double-take.
Coyotes get a bad reputation for being four-legged rebels without a cause. But, frankly, that undeserved standing is a byproduct of our own human doings: We’ve bulldozed over their natural habitats, forcing them to either flee or swiftly adapt. It seems that one rogue coyote took the latter option, having been spotted scurrying down Vallejo Street with a vermin snared in its jaws.
ABC 7 reported Friday night that the canine ran through Downtown, near the waterfront, just before the rains hit, weaving in between parked cars right outside the news station’s Embarcadero studio. The video uploaded by them showed what appears to be a rat in its mouth; this urban coyote presumably was en route to find a quiet place to consume his catch.
Twitter user @CarlyChillmon perfectly encapsulated this bout of Where The Wild Things Are realness saying “NYC has pizza rat and coffee rat, but we have coyote eating a rat.” (Just ... just yes.)
No reports of aggressive incidents involving the coyote were reported; it appeared he was just afraid and simply looking for shelter. However, this most recent coyote sighting does serve as a reminder to be vigilant about pet safety.
Attacks on dogs and “snatchings” of cats by the animals have been increasing in recent years. And, as the SF Weekly made clear earlier this summer: Despite our industrial efforts, coyotes, somehow, still continue to thrive in San Francisco, especially west of the Tenderloin, in and near Golden Gate Park and the Presidio.
As always, never approach wild animals and report any nuisance creatures to the San Francisco Animal Control.
Image: An "urban coyote" in Bernal Heights, via Wikimedia Commons