Wildlife officials attempting to trap coyotes who bit young girl.
California wildlife officials are searching for a pack of coyotes after one bit a five-year-old girl in a San Francisco area park last week.
CBS SF Bay Area reports the attack happened in Dublin Hills Regional Park. The unnamed girl was taking a walk with her family when a pack of five to six coyotes appeared. The mother tried to frighten the animals away, but one of coyotes managed to get at her daughter.
The injuries weren't life-threatening, but she was still transported to Oakland's UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital for treatment.
"She was bitten on the neck and has a laceration in the back that required sutures," East Bay Regional Park District Lt. Gretchen Rose told reporters at a press conference.
CBS SF Bay Area further reports that residents local to the park have been concerned for a while about a growing number of coyotes all around the Dublin area. There have been incidents in the past with coyotes and humans, but previous encounters all involved humans attempting to save their pets. This direct attack was a first for local officials.
"I've been with the district since 2005 and to my knowledge, we haven't had a coyote attack a human being," EBRPD Wildlife Program Manager Doug Bell told the news station.
Park officials have now temporarily closed off the park of the park where the attack occurred. They are now working with California Department of Fish and Wildlife to capture and identify the animal responsible. The plan is to try and use DNA evidence from the girl to ID the exact coyote responsible.
Bell did tell the station that he doesn't believe the animals are getting more comfortable with humans. The area has plenty of parks and other wild spaces that are surrounded by homes. It is worth noting that with more residents of major cities staying in their homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak, coyote sightings in the San Francisco and other major metropolitan areas like Chicago appear to be up.
A coyote walking down the sidewalk in San Francisco. With everyone in their homes, and traffic dead, coyotes are apparently taking advantage of the newly empty city streets.#ShelterInPlace #COVID19 #COVID19Pandemic pic.twitter.com/JbtoVCyiwK
— Wayne Hsiung (@waynehhsiung) April 3, 2020
The coyotes in San Francisco thing is true öwö he was a big boy! pic.twitter.com/hjtMVHWAbM
— Khat @ My Nursery (@SomethingPurpul) April 1, 2020
Social media is flooded with images of the animals roaming the streets right now. With less people out and about, it seems animals are getting bolder about venturing into the cities. Let's hope that doesn't lead to an increase in attacks like the one in California.