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Coyote Bites 3-Year-Old Girl In The Neck At Park Playground

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In a rare attack, a coyote bit a 3-year-old girl in the neck while she was playing at a playground in Elysian Park earlier this month.

KTLA reports that the attack took place a week and a half ago around 5 p.m. at the park. The girl's siblings and father were nearby when she saw a pack of animals coming towards her and told her father. "When the dad turned and looked he saw that there were coyotes," Lt. J.C. Healy of the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife told KTLA.

Three of the coyotes took off, but one was aggressive and bit the child's neck. She had puncture wounds on her neck and scratches on her body.

She was taken to a hospital and is said to be recovering.

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Officials got the coyote's DNA off of the girl's body, and trappers set out to search for the animal. They trapped two coyotes and euthanized them, only to find out later that they weren't the offending coyote. The search for the coyote has since been called off.

Although another Elysian Park-goer told KTLA that he was attacked by a coyote at the same park last month, resulting in minor injuries, Healy says these attacks are rare and that there's no need to panic.

Because of their small size, coyotes are normally skittish and rarely will confront a human or cause serious injuries. Small children and dogs, though, are more at risk than human adults. Last year, there were several reports that coyotes were attacking even large dogs in Elysian Park, which is a popular spot for hikes on its hillside trails.

Earlier this year, coyotes attacked four children in Irvine over the span of a few months.

Wildlife officials warn people to never feed wildlife and keep food in closed garbage bins.

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