On Saturday, animal officers hunted for a coyote as it attacked a young girl near Silverado Park in the city’s northeastern part, leaving the nearby community members on the edge.

At about 5:50 in the afternoon of Friday, the incident happened at the intersection of Silverado and Equinox when a mother, along with her twin daughters were walking their dog. One of the twin girls went to retrieve the dog waste bag, and while she was bending over, a coyote came running out of the bushes. It jumped on top of the girl, grabbing her by the neck, according to Lieutenant Kent Smirl of the Wish and Wildlife Department. The girl’s mother and other people nearby the area ran up to the animal and scared it off.

After the incident, the girl incurred bruises, although not bitten, so she would not need rabies shots. However, her skin was punctured, Smirl added. The girl was treated at a local hospital, and then released immediately. The girl’s name and her mother’s name were not disclosed.

Before the attack, many other people reported seeing a coyote close to the park, situated between the 241 and 133 toll roads. Emma Aguilar, 11, said she and her father saw a coyote around 5:30 in the afternoon on Friday. One of them started chasing the father-daughter, she said. The little girl said the coyote was growling, and her dad threw a rock at the animal and chased him away. Aguilar also said that her father sees packs of the coyotes often, having her scared as she has a 2-year-old sister who plays along with her outside.

David Anderson also described his frightening experience with a coyote around 5:20 in the afternoon on Friday near Discovery Park. Anderson said his 3-year-old son was riding his big wheel when he saw a coyote outside the park’s sidewalk. He said that the coyote seemed not afraid of people at all. He was frozen and did not know what to do, but yelled at his son to keep pedaling. Finally, a car drove by, honked his horn, and scared off the coyote away.

On May 9 at about 6 in the morning, Ann Laughlin was walking her poodle along Silverado Park’s sidewalk when a coyote crossed the street and seemed like it wanted to eat her puppy. She was wondering if the coyote was the same one that attacked the little girl recently.

The coyote was still on the loose as of Saturday evening, according to the animal services division, which is trained to monitor and track movements of coyotes, according to spokeswoman Farrah Emami.

Smirl explained that coyotes attacking people are rare, although it could still happen, especially if people tend to feed them like leaving pet food outdoors or leaving trash receptacles uncovered. If so, it will be easier for the coyotes get food, instead of catching some in the wild, Smirl added.

Silverado Park is considered as an urban edge community, just right on the border of wild lands, making it accessible to coyotes. Now, the wildlife department has launched a community program committed to helping residents within neighborhoods in 2 counties, learning how to co-exist with the wildlife, not only limited to coyotes.

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