Girl ‘seriously injured’ by coyote on California beach

A toddler was seriously injured when a coyote attacked and bit her in Huntington Beach, Southern California on Thursday night, police say. said. The child was at the beach with his mother near the water just north of the popular beach jetty.

The Huntington Beach Police Department said it received a report of the incident at 9:45 p.m. and when officers arrived they found the injured child. She was taken to a local hospital “with serious but not life-threatening injuries”, police said.

A witness told CBS News that the child’s face was covered in blood.

surf line share footage on YouTube of the coyote attacking the child in which you can see the animal jump on the girl and bring her to the ground. (Warning, sensitive content.)

Officers shot the coyote along with a second animal, Lt. Toby Archer, a department spokesperson said. One of the animals died and the other escaped with a gunshot wound.

“We’re pretty confident that whoever was shot and died was not the one who bit the child,” Archer said. “We shot the one who bit the child but he ran away and we didn’t take him into our custody. We followed him to a wet area but we lost him there .”

Cpt. Patrick Foy of the California Fish & Wildlife Law Enforcement Division said coyote bites are unusual but not entirely out of the ordinary.

“We probably have 10 to 15 attacks a year where a coyote bites a human,” Foy said of the total number of bites in California each day. “We’ve seen more in recent years than in the past. When I started my career 25 years ago, it’s definitely more than that.”

Michelle Lute, National Carnivore Conservation Officer for the coyote project, said a coyote biting a human is “very unusual”.

Lute could not comment specifically on why the coyote in this case attacked a child, but she said coyotes can lose their natural fear of humans when people intentionally or unintentionally feed them, such as leaving food for them. pets in backyards and not securing the outdoors. bins that may contain leftover food. She also said efforts to trap coyotes can backfire, disrupting stable population dynamics and increasing human-coyote conflict.

“It is important to remember that the vast majority of humans and coyotes co-exist peacefully across the country,” she wrote in a post.

Animal Care and Control and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife are looking for the second coyote. When the animal is located, it will be euthanized, police said.

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