Coyotes are roaming San Francisco's empty streets as the city's shelter-in-place order keeps people in their homes

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Coyotes are roaming San Francisco's empty streets as the city's shelter-in-place order keeps people in their homes

coyote
  • Coyotes are being spotted in San Francisco as the city and region hunkers down due to a shelter-in-place order to contain the coronavirus disease.
  • The animals are native to California and were once seen in the bay until hunting and poisoning nearly wiped them out.
  • The canines are taking advantage of the city's empty, humanless streets as the number of confirmed cases in the city hit 223.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

San Francisco has all but turned into a ghost town as the city and region enters week two of a three-week shelter-in-place order to contain the coronavirus disease. 

But there have been some coyote sightings throughout the city as much of the city has been shut down.

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Twitter user @manishkumar457 posted a photo of one on Monday, as SF Gate first reported.

Twitter user @manishkumar457 posted a photo of one on Monday, as SF Gate first reported.

Source: SF Gate

Coyote on the streets of San Francisco during the coronavirus shelter in place order #mindblowing #wow pic.twitter.com/mz35HAe9ZM

— manishkumar (@manishkumar457) March 23, 2020

One was spotted in the city's Glen Park, according to a photo posted by Twitter user @BathtubBulletin.

One was spotted in the city's Glen Park, according to a photo posted by Twitter user @BathtubBulletin.

Coyote in Glen Canyon Park, San Francisco, March 2020 https://t.co/3X5S9qHsRR pic.twitter.com/NNf4yZeEhr

— Bathtub Bulletin (@BathtubBulletin) March 25, 2020
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Twitter user @LugaresyMas posted a photo of a coyote lounging in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Twitter user @LugaresyMas posted a photo of a coyote lounging in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge.

La espectacular imagen de un coyote sobre el puente Golden Gate, en San Francisco. La llegada de animales salvajes a las ciudades desiertas es un hecho #COVID2019 #QuedateEnTuCasa #COVID19 #LugaresyMás pic.twitter.com/7rTpKbt7W2

— Lugares y Más (@_LugaresyMas) March 25, 2020

Gianna Toboni, correspondent and producer at Vice, tweeted that her family in San Francisco spotted three of the animals outside their home in the city.

Gianna Toboni, correspondent and producer at Vice, tweeted that her family in San Francisco spotted three of the animals outside their home in the city.

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.

— Gianna Toboni (@GiannaToboni) March 24, 2020
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And CNBC reporter Christina Farr spotted a pack of three snoozing in the city.

And CNBC reporter Christina Farr spotted a pack of three snoozing in the city.

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

Coyotes have made a comeback to the region in recent years.

Coyotes have made a comeback to the region in recent years.

As KQED reported in February, the canines are native to California and were seen in the San Francisco Bay Area until the mid-1900s. However, people started using a poison called Compound 1080 to keep them off their land in the 1940s. After that, coyotes were reviled and hunters very nearly wiped out the animals.

They weren't seen for decades until 2002 when one was spotted in the city's Presidio. One theory is that the coyotes had walked over the Golden Gate Bridge into the city. Another is that a trapper brought some in from up north.

Either way, they've slowly begun to repopulate the city's parks, like Golden Gate Park and the Presidio.

Now they're a sort of mascot of the city and are clearly taking advantage of the desolate city as humans stay inside amid a viral outbreak.

The shelter-in-place order is expected to end on April 7, though that could be extended. Residents are being directed to remain inside their homes as much as possible, except to leave for essential needs like groceries and medicine. Nonessential businesses like bars and dine-in restaurants are closed.

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