Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Parks & Nature
Published on August 11, 2017
Is There A Coyote Family Inside Outside Lands?Photo: Outside Lands/Facebook

This weekend’s Outside Lands festival is predicted to bring more than 210,000 concertgoers to the western end of Golden Gate Park, but according to one neighbor, one local family may be enjoying an all-access pass.

“There is a coyote ‘family’ (mother with cubs) in a den up near to the Outside Lands communications 'whatever,' up on Overlook Drive that is having troubles with the situation,” said Sunset resident Chris D. via our tipline.

Chris, who said he rides through the area near the OSL security station with his dog “every other day,” believes his pet encountered a coyote last week after she “came bolting out at Crossover Dr. and Overlook with serious fear in her eyes.”

“The Park Patrol have been alerting anyone with a dog near the area to ‘look out’ for trouble,” reported Chris, who said dog walkers were advised "to keep an eye out, as others [have] been ‘followed’ by the coyote mom.”

Elton Pon, outreach and communications manager for Rec & Parks, said the department is “not aware of any dens currently in that area of the park.”

Although coyotes have built dens there in past years, “coyote pups would no longer be in the den during this time of year,” said Pon, who noted that the chain-link fence around the festival’s perimeter has gaps “to allow wildlife to move in and out of the area.”

We contacted Outside Lands for comment, but did not receive a response.

Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote, said it wasn’t absolutely certain that coyote pups born in the area would have moved on by now. Fox’s organization promotes “compassionate conservation and coexistence” with Canis latrans.

San Francisco Animal Care and Control estimates that about 100 of the animals live in San Francisco.

“At this point, pups born in April will be venturing further field from their den site’s area,” she told Hoodline via telephone, adding that they’ll likely disperse in September and October to seek new territories and mates.

“Some may remain in the family group and become aunts and uncles to the next litter next year,” she added.

Coyote in Golden Gate Park, November 2014. | Photo: MIke's Birds/Flickr

If there is a coyote family inside the Outside Lands perimeter, Fox said it was unlikely that the three-day festival would disturb them. “Most of the time, coyotes don’t want to have much to do with us,” she said.”

To avoid human contact, urban coyotes are active at night, she said.

With more than 60 restaurants and a dozen food trucks serving concertgoers, Fox said it could be a “mixed-use” situation where the coyotes avoid crowds and music during the day, then come in after dark to grab a bite.

“They may attracted to all of the refuse and food and trash bins,” she said. “That’s really going to be an attractant for wildlife.”

Thanks again to tipster Chris D.

Project Coyote has a Coyote Hazing Field Guide with tips for convincing them to move on while preserving their instincts to keep their distance from people.

Have you seen something wild? Text your tip or photos to 415-200-3233, and we'll see what we can find out