golden gate coyote
Credit: San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

Three Coyotes Killed After Biting 5-year-old at San Francisco Golden Gate Park

Wildlife officials confirmed that they killed three coyotes at San Francisco Golden Gate Park after one of them bit a five-year-old girl.

California wildlife officials confirmed this week that they killed three coyotes at San Francisco Golden Gate Park after one of them bit a five-year-old girl. According to a social media post, the animal matched the DNA profile from the victim's bite wound.

Patrick Foy, a captain with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife law enforcement division, told reporters that they shot two of the coyotes on Saturday and the other on Sunday. "If a coyote or bear or mountain lion attacks a person, those animals are euthanized, and we conduct a rabies test on them post-mortem and take DNA samples," he said.

Coyote attacks five-year-old girl

According to reports, one of the coyotes attacked the little girl as she played at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, a 55-acre park with a massive collection of plants from around the world. Located within the Golden Gate Park, many consider it one of the most diverse gardens in the world.

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The girl's mother, Helen Sparrow, explained to reporters that the attack happened around 11 a.m. on June 28. When the girl saw the coyote, she started to run but tripped. Then, the animal bit her on her rear end while she was on the ground. She reportedly needed stitches for her wound.

Following the incident, officials with the garden closed the garden for the weekend. They told reporters that coyotes can exhibit protective behavior to safeguard their young during puppy season in spring and early summer. However, they didn't specify how many coyotes lived in the garden.

Although coyotes are native to California, wildlife officials say attacks are rare. Additionally, in June 2021, a coyote charged two toddlers in the garden but a parent stopped it before it could reach the children.

Wildlife experts say if you encounter a coyote, you should try to scare it away by waving your arms and screaming. You could also throw things at it and try to make yourself look as big as possible. They explicitly say do not run from it as it will instinctively chase you.