When people think of urban wildlife in San Francisco, the most common critters are raccoons, skunks, and in recent years, coyotes. But tigers? Sure there are the infamous big cats from the San Francisco Zoo that put the lethal smackdown on some punks who harassed them. But these regal beasts can be found stalking other corners of the city—you just need to know where to look
Hemlock at Larkin
This mural depicts the various animal signs of the Chinese zodiac. This alley is a prime spot for prostitutes on the prowl in late-night hours. I’m sure this tiger and his zodiac buddies have seen some pretty interesting action in the alley during their time on the wall.
Bush at Van Ness
This transient tiger appeared in chalk one day on the corner. I spotted him as I was running around the block during a warm up for a conditioning class at Krav Maga SF. He definitely inspired me with some “Eye of the Tiger” spirit as I huffed and puffed around the block. I think the artist may live in the residency hotel about the Route 101 bar because I’ve seen other beasts sketched along the sidewalk here from time to time.
Geary at Taylor
I recently came across this mural when I changed up my usual work commute route to walk downtown along Geary. I felt like a tourist gaping in awe at this three-story tiger leaping out of his own skin. Definitely worth a detour to check it out.