UPDATE, APRIL 29: 5:30 P.M.— The California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed Friday afternoon that the coyote believed to be responsible for the attack on a young girl north of the Huntington Beach Pier Thursday night has been euthanized.
“Wildlife officers responded to a report of an injured coyote in a trailer park very near the Huntington Beach Pier where the attack took place last night and located it under a trailer,” a rep. for CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division told Los Angeles via email.
“They caught it, euthanized it, and are hopeful it is the second coyote that had been shot by Huntington Beach Police last night. The carcass will be sent to a laboratory in Sacramento where wildlife forensics scientists will work on it Saturday and attempt to compare the samples of DNA from either of the carcasses to that of the samples taken from the victim’s bite wounds.”
Both animals will also be tested for rabies, the department said, which is done post-mortem which usually takes a few extra days.
The statement concludes, “CDFW is making no further effort to locate coyotes associated with the attack.”
APRIL 29, 2022— In an exceedingly rare and frightening occurrence, a young girl was rushed to a local hospital from the beach Thursday night after a coyote attack left her with serious but not life-threatening injuries.
Officers from the Huntington Beach Police Department responded to reports about a coyote attack on the beach north of the pier at around 9:45 p.m., HBPD said in a statement Thursday.
“Upon arrival, officers located an injured female child. The child was transported to a local hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries,” the department said. “Due to the fact that the victim is a minor, we do not plan to release any further details on the victim.”
HBPD added that it is “working in coordination with the California Department of Fish and Game in tracking and euthanizing the coyote involved,” and that it has increased its trapping efforts around the city over the last several weeks.
Although the California Department of Fish and Wildlife tells Los Angeles it doesn’t keep an attack database on coyotes like it does for mountain lions, our research indicates that you’re about as likely be attacked by one of these particular canines as you are to be set upon by Wile E. himself.
“More people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year,” the Humane Society notes, “than are bitten by coyotes.”
Some experts, however, aren’t so sure. In the 2009 study, “Coyote Attacks on Humans in the U.S. and Canada,” published in Human Dimensions in Wildlife, the authors state, “Their presence in urban areas has often elicited concern from the public, although the actual risk that they pose to human populations is unclear.”
The study’s analysis of 142 reported incidents of coyote attacks resulting in 159 victims from 1960 to 2006 found that, “Most attacks were classified as predatory (37%) or investigative (22%) in nature. The number of reported attacks was nearly equal between adults and children, although child victims were more (p < .001) prevalent in predatory attacks.”
According to the Humane Society, there have been two reported human deaths caused by coyote attacks in the U.S. and Canada. One was a child in Southern California in the 1980s, and the other a 19-year-old woman in Nova Scotia in 2009.
While the Humane Society does say, “A coyote who has bitten a person will have to be specifically targeted and removed from the population,” it adds, “Under no circumstances does an attack by an individual coyote warrant killing at large, in an effort to reduce the population or simply ring up the bill on coyotes as an act of retribution.”
The Huntington Beach PD is asking the community to notify it of coyote sightings by
calling (714) 960-8811.
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