Sunday, 12 July 2015

Two coyote attacks on young children prompt California to warn residents

Two children were injured by coyotes that entered homes on 5 July – unusual behavior for the animals, which tend to be fearful of humans

Alan Yuhas in New York

Friday 10 July 2015 18.26 BSTLast modified on Friday 10 July 201519.03 BST

Two coyote attacks on young children within 24 hours have prompted California to warn residents about the animals.

In two separate incidents on 5 July, two children were injured by coyotes that entered their families’ homes, state wildlife officials said. A coyote that entered a family garage in the Irvine area injured a two-year-old boy on his neck and cheek. A second animal entered another family’s home and scratched a seven-year-old girl on the back of her heel.

The encounters were the third and fourth in three months: in May a coyote bit a three-year-old girl on the neck in a park, and in June another bit a two-year-old boy at a playground.

“We’re just asking residents to be vigilant when they’re outside with their small children and pets,” said state wildlife department spokeswoman Janice Mackey.

In six weeks, eight coyotes have been “taken” – wildlife officials’ preferred euphemism for capture and euthanasia. Mackey said some were taken on the basis of “the way they were acting when people were around” and others were “in deep residential areas”.

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