Coyote attacks 2-year-old child at California park, officials say

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif. — A coyote attacked a 2-year-old child at a California park on Tuesday, and authorities launched a search to find the animal.

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According to a news release from the Fountain Valley Police Department, the attack occurred at about 8:30 p.m. PDT inside Mile Square Regional Park.

The attack was not immediately reported and initial attempts to locate the animal were unsuccessful, police said,

The extent of the child’s injuries, if any, was not disclosed, KABC-TV reported.

Fountain Valley is located about six miles northeast of Huntington Beach, where several coyote sightings and an attack led to a series of community safety meetings, KNBC-TV reported. In April, a young girl was hospitalized with injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening when she was attacked by a coyote near the Huntington Beach Pier, according to the television station.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is the lead agency in the investigation, the news release stated. The agency, along with the Department of Agriculture, is searching for the coyote and plans to euthanize it.

“Most coyote attacks occur in relation to a food source or attractant drawing the coyote close to people, pets, or livestock,” the CDFW said in a news release. “A food-conditioned or habituated coyote may become bold and act aggressively towards people.”

Department officials said that persons encountering a coyote should keep their distance and make noise, like clapping hands or whistling. If the animal approaches, try to “make yourself bigger by lifting and waving” your arms.

Persons accompanied by a child should keep them close, and if the animal attempts to attack, move to a safe location, the CDFW said.

If anyone is bitten, the agency advises to call 911 and seek medical attention.

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