Police kill coyote that ‘came out of nowhere’ and attack 2-year-old girl on California beach

DNA from a coyote that bit a girl in Huntington Beach, southern California, last week matched samples from one of two coyotes killed after the attack, authorities said Monday. the A 2-year-old child was hospitalized with bites to the head and face that were not considered life-threatening after she was attacked near the Huntington Beach pier last Thursday evening.

Huntington Beach police responded and shot and killed two coyotes found in the coastal area south of Los Angeles, police Lt. Shawn Randell said.

Samples taken from the girl’s wounds were used to confirm the animal that bit her was killed, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Captain Patrick Foy said.

The girl was with her mother on the sand when she wandered “just a few yards” and was attacked, Foy said last week.

The coyote came out of the darkness, kicked and knocked the girl down and attacked her for 12 seconds before her scream alerted the adults and the animal fled, Foy said.

However, he stayed around, pacing, before finally running away, Foy said.

“There is nothing we can say that would put them at fault, Foy said of the girl’s family. “They didn’t upset the coyote. The coyote came out of nowhere and snuck up on this little girl.”

“There was, like, a coyote right here, we saw it, and then all of a sudden it came in through this, like, family,” witness Garie Joncon told CBS Los Angeles. “And there was, like, a child on the floor. And then, about five minutes later, we came back, the whole crowd around a baby. The baby was obviously bitten, and there was just blood on his face.”

Coyotes are found almost everywhere in California, including cities, and authorities have long warned that small children and pets may be at risk. Last year, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife launched workshops to help communities manage coyotes due to an increase in conflicts with humans.

Foy said coyotes are generally shy and try to avoid humans. He estimated that there are only about 10 to 12 attacks a year in the state, mostly involving smaller children, but grown adults have been attacked in a few cases.

Last year, CBS Los Angeles reported that a pack of 12 coyotes attacked a woman and her dog in Woodland Hills, California.


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