SF Animal Care & Control put out an APB of sorts on Wednesday morning, seeking the public's help in shaming and bringing to justice a woman who apparently thinks it's fun and helpful to feed wild coyotes.
The woman, who appears to have died purple or magenta hair, is pictured below, sitting in the grass with a package of meat — possibly store-prepared kabobs of some kind. Not far away, a coyote is visible in the grass, and she was allegedly feeding the animal. SFGate first reported on the release from Animal Care & Control, which says that the punishment for feeding wildlife is a $1,000 fine and/or jail time.
The photos appear to have been taken by a passerby, and the woman looks annoyed that she's been caught and photographed. Animal Care calls her a "particularly egregious coyote feeder," and they say she "allegedly feeds coyotes in other locations around the city" besides Bernal Hill, where the photos were taken.
As we have heard many times from experts, feeding coyotes leads to them losing their natural fear of humans which often leads to them being killed. As SF Animal Care & Control says in a PSA, "Fed wildlife is dead wildlife." And they add that "well intentioned handouts" can make wild animals sick, lead to disease, and can lead to territorial fighting that wouldn't otherwise have occurred.
So, the well intentioned but ignorant woman pictured above and below may think that she is feeding an animal who's hungry — possibly to distract from a void in her own life — but she is actually putting it in danger. A coyote in Golden Gate Park that was possibly a recent mother of cubs was euthanized last month by Animal Care & Control because it had been charging at children in the Botanical Garden. That coyote had clearly lost its fear of humans, possibly through feeding like this.
"People need to stop feeding wild animals," said Animal Care & Control Executive Director Virginia Donohue, in a statement. "Continuing to defy the law — and common sense — will lead to a person getting hurt and an animal being destroyed."
If you recognize this person, or see her again in action, please call Animal Care & Control at 415-554-9400.