Dallas toddler mauled by coyote on porch, hospitalized

Police say a 2-year-old was hospitalized in critical condition after being mauled by a coyote on the porch of the child’s home in Dallas

DALLAS — A 2-year-old child was hospitalized in critical condition after being mauled by a coyote Tuesday on the porch of the child’s home in Dallas, police said.

The attack happened around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in a neighborhood just north of White Rock Lake in Dallas.

A police officer responding to the call spotted the coyote in a park near the child’s home and opened fire on the animal, which retreated into nearby woods, according to a police statement.

It is not known if the officer harmed the animal, but an active search with a game warden has begun, police said. Police are warning neighborhood residents that the coyote should be considered extremely dangerous.

The attack came less than a week after a coyote attacked a 2-year-old girl in Huntington Beach, Southern California. The coyote was then shot.

State wildlife experts said the coyote was obviously fed by neighborhood residents, intentionally or unintentionally. Otherwise, the coyote would have avoided human contact, said the state’s urban wildlife biologist Sam Kieschnick. Such attacks “are not just rare, they are extremely rare,” he said.

Humans’ lack of fear can be disastrous for the coyote, said Robert M. Timm, a retired wildlife biologist from the University of California’s Hopland Research & Extension Center who has long studied contact history. humans with coyotes.

A report co-authored by Timm for the Fall 2017 edition of the journal Human-Wildlife Interactions cited a 2009 study that documented 142 coyote attacks on humans in the United States and Canada over nearly half a century. , from 1960 to 2006. A 2011 study recorded 26 coyote attacks on humans in Canada between 1995 and 2010.

“This is a difficult problem to manage, given the diversity of public attitudes toward coyotes, especially in suburban areas,” he said in an email to The Associated Press. “This is quickly becoming a political nightmare for cities, counties and public agencies, as many people oppose lethal wildlife control, which is sometimes the only solution when some coyotes get used to living in the suburbs in the point of attacking pets. and humans.

ABC News

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