Bernal Coyote Hit By Car, But Recovers Quickly

Last Sunday, the Bernal Coyote was hit by a car on Bernal Heights Boulevard. Ack! That’s the bad news. The good news, according to San Francisco coyote-whisperer Janet Kessler, is that the coyote wasn’t badly injured. Janet tells Bernalwood:

These days the Bernal Coyote has been spending the bulk of her time hunting now instead of panhandling. She still travels up the street and still sometimes approaches cars, however much less frequently than previously. Removing the garbage and food left on the street each morning and talking to people seem to be paying off.

On Sunday a neighbor told me the coyote had been hit by a car.

I spotted the coyote on the hill and immediately noticed something wrong: Something wasn’t right with her balance, and she lay down and closed her eyes. That wasn’t normal behavior for this time of day for her. IF she lies down in the morning, her head bobs up continually as she scans the environment. But on Sunday she wasn’t doing this.

Then a dog found her and chased her and the coyote ran off as best she could, but she tumbled head over heels down the embankment with her limbs flying in all directions. Finally she reached the street and stood there. She was able to trot several hundred feet further down the road, but she was stiff, and her body kept buckling under her:

She was able to catch herself and not fall to the ground. She probably couldn’t keep trotting, possibly because of the pain, so she chose the closest safe-place around, which was up.  She made it up the cliff, wobbling and buckling at several points, but not falling. Then she settled down at the top of the hill, mostly hidden by the grasses.

We called Animal Care and Control (ACC) and they sent one person out.

That wasn’t enough to catch a coyote, so he called two more people out. Unfortunately they were not effective and the coyote ran off and was able to evade them. ACC would not try again, saying that she was *mobile* so they were going to leave it.

The next day, I saw her walking on the sidewalk and hunting by herself, She was limping a little on her back leg, but I also saw saw her leap high during her hunt. She’ll be fine. I think she is healing on her own quite well.

PHOTO: Bernal Coyote the day after the accident, courtesy of Janet Kessler from Coyote Yipps

Bernal Coyote Scared But Safe After Close Call With Dog

Bernal Coyote, hiding in a thicket after the chase. Photo by Janet Kessler

The coyote that lives on Bernal Hill had a close call last week, after a domesticated dog decided to chase her. The ensuing scene was so loud and chaotic that several readers wrote to tell Bernalwood about it, so we in turn reached out to San Francisco coyote-whisperer Janet Kessler to see if he had any information about the incident.

Providentially, Janet was on the scene when the dog chased the Bernal Coyote, and Janet shared this report:

The coyote had just spent a few moments on a peaceful grassy perch where she was observing the urban world as she knew it: the large city below and the dog walkers on and off the trails of a grassy park higher up. She got up to wander around the hillside when suddenly a dog caught sight of her and was after her in a flash — it was a large, golden retriever-like dog.

The coyote ran lickety-split away from the dog, into the street with the dog right at her heels. In the street, of course, both coyote and dog are endangered by traffic, but fortunately cars were sparse at that moment. Having flown across the street, the coyote dashed into the thicket on the other side of the street. Thickets serve as harborage for our wild coyotes, especially from dogs and people. It’s where they can rest and relax without being seen, and when the thickets are impenetrable, coyotes feel safe. Dogs usually can’t, or have difficulty, venturing into these thickets, so the dog remained on the street where the owner was able to grab it.

In the thicket, with her eyes glued in the direction of the dog, the little coyote vented her distress. She remained there and screeched her heart out for 20 minutes, looking over her shoulder now and then as dogs, people and loud traffic moved by on the next street. This is what she sounded like:

When she was done, she got up and walked away. I followed the coyote to make sure she wasn’t injured. I knew the dog hadn’t reached her, so she would have no injuries from his/her mouth. It wasn’t an “attack” but simply a harrowing “pursuit”. Still, I’ve seen coyotes injured in the past as they fled pursuing dogs. One such coyote limped for days, having twisted or injured an ankle or wrist in its hurry to get away. Luckily, the Bernal coyote displayed no signs of any injuries.

I also spoke to a dog-walker, Patrice, who said she had witnessed two motor scooters pursuing this same little coyote up and down the streets several weeks ago. It must have been another harrowing experience for the coyote. Did these humans not know how cruel they were being? What might be considered fun and games for us and our dogs is actually a matter of life and death for this little coyote. Please help stop this kind of activity whenever you notice it!

PHOTO AND VIDEO: Courtesy of Janet Kessler from Coyote Yipps

CurbedSF Collects Cute Pics of “Dopey Dogs of Bernal Hill”

Our friends at CurbedSF have collected a lovely set of photos about all the doggies to be found atop Bernal Hill. They write:

If you rent in San Francisco and your rent-control lease specifies no-pets, you too might known the pain of living a pooch-free life. So much so that you’re resorted to petting any dog that passes by and/or visiting dog parks alone just to take pics of other peoples’ pups. Which isn’t creepy at all.

Abate your puppy pangs with this series of shots atop Bernal Hill. The Bernal Heights summit is noted for being the place in San Francisco to take your dog.

And from there, a great deal of cuteness ensues.

Colorful Sunrise Bathes Bernal in Magical Light

From my home in the North Bernal lowlands, I noticed this morning that the sunrise was creating some fiery orange reflections on the glass of a few downtown high-rises.

It was a lovely scene, but from his vantage point in Noe Valley,  Bernalspotter Christopher Baker had an even more glamorous view of this morning’s colorful sunrise — because it highlighted us.

Welcome to the new week, Bernal Heights!

PHOTO: Courtesy of Christopher Baker

How to Tumble Down Bernal Hill Without Spilling Your Beer

Bernal Heights old-timers will tell you about the days when children used to love sliding down Bernal Hill on a piece of cardboard. Today we live in more extreme times, with ready access to video documentation tools, so this is how it’s done it now: no cardbord required.

In this video shared late last week on Reddit, we see a wannabe stuntman casually handing his beer to a friend before tumbling headlong down the black-diamond north face of Bernal Hill.

Suffice to say, “Kids, don’t try this at home.”

The Bernal Coyote Is Alive and Well and Enjoying Dry Weather

The rains have subsided, and the Bernal Coyote seems excited about that. In the last few days, Bernalwood readers have shared many photos of the Bernal Coyote out and about on Bernal Hill, taking in the sights, wandering through the grass, and generally being rather photogenic.

The photos up above were captured  by Neighbor Chris, as the Bernal Coyote strolled through her urban oasis.

Neighbor Sig snapped this photo yesterday as well:

Neighbor Dena has turned her attention from rainbows to wildlife, and along the way she took this picture of the Bernal Coyote in what could have been a pose for an LL Bean mail-order catalog:

And finally, Neighbor Hope spotted the Bernal Coyote savoring the sun in the community garden just below Bernal Hill:

So amazing! Just remember: As much as we love the Bernal Coyote, it’s up to us to help keep her safe. Do not love her too much. Respect her space, and DO NOT FEED HER. For more expert advice on how to co-exist with the Bernal Coyote, please read this.