A young child was attacked by a coyote on a Cape Cod beach in Massachusetts, but suffered no critical injuries.
The child was bitten around the face, neck and shoulder Wednesday evening on North Herring Cove Beach within the Cape Cod National Seashore, and was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the National Park Service. The child’s age was not provided.
The coyote was killed by rangers, and it tested negative for rabies, according to officials.
Rangers have reported several incidents of coyotes boldly approaching humans in the area this summer. That’s because coyotes become habituated to humans and are drawn to picnics and edible trash left behind, NPS officials warned.
“This behavior starts with people feeding the coyotes intentionally by leaving food out, or inadvertently by not removing food scraps and packaging from the beach,” said an NPS statement.
“This leads to the animals becoming habituated and bold in attempts to obtain food. When wild animals lose their fear of people, they behave unpredictably and aggressively, resulting in injuries to people and a sad ending for the habituated animal,” it added.
Last month, two men on a boat came to the aid of a women, Marcy Sterlis, who was using a stick to fend off a “relentless” coyote on a Provincetown beach.
In a video shot by one of the men, fisherman Andrew DeCarton, Sterlis can be heard crying “help me” while the coyote follows her. The animal was eventually frightened off when DeCarton hit a paddle against the side of his boat, The Cape Cod Times reported.
Sterlis wrote later on Facebook: “Major props to these guys for hearing my screams and responding ― this coyote was relentless, and I don’t know what I would have done without them.”
Officials in San Francisco, meanwhile, are seeking the identity of a woman who was videotaped feeding raw meat to wild coyotes on Bernal Hill in the city. It’s illegal to feed wild animals.
“Feeding coyotes and any wildlife, makes the wildlife lose their natural wariness. They begin to see people as a source of food,” Virginia Donohue, executive director at San Francisco Animal Care and Control, told Fox News 2.
A coyote habituated to humans was euthanized last month after repeatedly approaching toddlers at San Francisco Botanical Garden.
“We were certainly very alarmed to see them approaching children. That’s not natural behavior,” said Donohue.
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