IRVINE, Calif. — California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials say a coyote attacked a 6-year-old boy near his home in the Woodbridge community near Irvine and tried to drag him away on Sunday night.
According to local reports, the boy was playing at Springbrook Park when the coyote attacked around 7:00 p.m. Sunday. Andrew Hughan, a spokesman from California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the animal bit the boy on the arm and tried to drag him away. Fortunately, his father and other bystanders were able to get the coyote to release the boy, after which they chased it from the area.
Because of the quick reactions of the adults, the boy only had to be treated for minor cuts, scratches, and bites on his arm.
“Irvine is a hot spot for coyotes, unfortunately,” Hughan said. He added that there were six confirmed cases of coyotes biting humans in Irvine last year. One man and his 3-year-old son were even bitten right in front of their home.
“There’s lots of open space, lots of parks, lots of food, water, and shelter. A lot of coyote habitat,” Hughan told reporters. “Then there’s a lot of people encroaching on habitat, walking their dogs, walking their kids. It’s sort of a perfect storm of coyote badness.”
Usually when a coyote attack happens, Fish and Wildlife officials search the area over the course of a few days and trap a few. The animals are then euthanized because the state doesn’t have facilities to hold them.
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At least four coyotes have been caught and euthanized in the wake of Sunday’s attack. Because the boy’s clothes contained little forensic evidence, it will be difficult to determine if they have captured the animal that attacked him, Hughan said.
An Irvine family experienced a parent's nightmare – seeing your young child attacked by a wild animal.