As San Francisco enters its second week of quarantine, coyotes have apparently started descending on the now deserted streets. According to SF Gate, numerous social media users have posted sightings and pictures of the animals, who are taking advantage of the empty city.
This is not the first time that the prairie wolves have been seen in the West Coast city. Coyotes used to be heavily populated in the area, but a campaign of poisoning and hunting the animals in the 1940s wiped out most of the natural population.
However, things began to change in 2002, when a coyote was seen in Presidio. It remains unknown whether the animal had been brought there by a trapper or if it had somehow traversed the Golden Gate Bridge alone. Since then, experts have claimed that their numbers have continued to grow as the packs have started to recolonize their old grounds.
Now that the streets remain generally unpopulated due to measures taken to fight the spread of the deadly coronavirus, it appears that the coyotes feel confident enough to freely roam through the area.
Earlier this week, CNBC reporter Christina Farr wrote that she had been going for a walk when a group of women pointed out a pack of the prairie wolves sleeping in some greenery in the middle of the “usually busy” neighborhood.
I went for a walk for fresh air and a group of women called out to me. And omg, they had spotted a pack of sleeping coyotes in the middle of (usually busy) San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/NNdG3dcs2Q— Christina Farr (@chrissyfarr) March 20, 2020
Another unverified user posted a picture that appeared to show a coyote running down a street.
Others have verified the claims by posting their own stories on coyote sightings.
“Unexpected things happening, maybe as a result of shelter in place. My brother just spotted three coyotes in front of my parents’ house in San Francisco,” wrote VICE News Tonight producer Gianna Toboni in a tweet.
Another unverified user tweeted yet another picture — this time of a lone coyote in Glen Canyon Park.
While the stories about coyotes in the streets appears to be true, there have been a series of false stories circulating around the internet that have claimed other wildlife sightings in cities during the numerous lockdowns. For example, one viral article claimed that dolphins were swimming in the famed canals of Venice; another reported on a herd of drunk elephants in the Chinese province of Yunnan. Both of these stories were later debunked.
Though coyotes appearing to be thriving in San Francisco, other animals have not been so fortunate. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, wildlife rescue centers have struggled to care for their animals as workers deal with complications from the coronavirus pandemic.