A 3-year-old little girl walking with her mother and twin sister near an Irvine park was attacked by a coyote that seemingly came out of nowhere. The coyote charged at the child and went for her neck, according to CBS News local on May 24.
The Orange County park where the attack took place is right next to Gina McKenna’s house, who happened to be sitting on her patio as the coyote made his play for the child. She saw the unprovoked attack as the coyote just went for the little girl's neck.
The child and the mother both started screaming, said McKenna who acted quickly. She leaped into action chasing the coyote away from the child.
The mom and the child looked really scared, which is understandable after such a violent attack when you think you are playing in a safe area. The little girl was taken by ambulance to the hospital with a wound on her neck. That wound is described as “superficial.”
While coyotes frequent the area, it is extremely rare for a coyote to become aggressive and charge at a human, especially since the animal was not provoked. Fish and Game and Animal Control Officers are searching the area for that coyote.
The Orange County wildlife officials said this attack happened on Friday very close to Silverado Park in the northeast part of Irvine. Authorities have put up warning posters in the area that say a child was attacked by a coyote on Friday, May 22. The warning advises people to “please keep a close eye out for your children and pets, reports the Orange County Register.
Needless to say the community of Irvine is on edge today. The 3-year-old girl was walking the dog with her mother and her twin sister by the park when the attack happened. Witnesses say that the little girl was attacked when she bent over to retrieve a bag of waste from her dog. The coyote came out of the bushes and went for her neck while she was bent over.
Thankfully the coyote only bruised the child’s neck, it was not punctured so she won’t need rabies shots. Prior to this attack another child walking with her father came across a coyote that growled then started chasing an 11-year-old and her father. The girl, Emma Aguilar of Irvine, said her dad threw a rock at the coyote to get it to go away.
On Friday another man said he was with his son, who was riding a big wheel at the park. A coyote came out of nowhere and was about five-feet from his son. He yelled to his son to keep peddling toward dad and then a car went by spotting the coyote and blew its horn to chase it away. David Anderson said his son was safe, but you could tell that this coyote was not afraid of people.
The Irvine Police Department’s Animal Services Division tracks and monitors the movement patterns of coyotes, said spokesperson Farrah Emami, and they will be looking for this creature. The California Department of Wildlife is helping residents in neighborhoods in Orange and Los Angeles counties learn how to coexist with coyotes and other wildlife with a new community program they launched. Emami said, "If a coyote approaches, make yourself appear bigger and yell to scare the animal off.