DUBLIN (CBS SF) — A coyote bit a five-year-old girl at Dublin Hills Regional Park Wednesday afternoon, sending her to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, East Bay Regional Park District officials said.
The girl was with her family at the park when the attack happened at around 2:22 p.m.
According to EBRPD Lt. Gretchen Rose, the mother tried to shoo a pack of 5-6 coyotes away, but one attacked her daughter. “She was bitten on the neck and has a laceration in the back that required sutures,” Rose said.
Though the girl’s injuries weren’t serious, wildlife experts are extremeley concerned about the rare attack.
“I’ve been with the district since 2005 and to my knowledge, we haven’t had a coyote attack a human being,” said Doug Bell, the Wildlife Program Manager with EBRPD.
Bell says there have been cases where humans have been injured trying to save their animals but he can’t remember a case where a coyote targeted a human.
It’s been a concern for many who live in the Dublin area. Neighbors have captured these images of coyotes lurking around their homes. According to Bell, there’s nothing to suggest there’s a growing coyote population in the area or that they are getting more comfortable around people.
“We have open space parks sandwiched by thousands and thousands of people. We literally have coyotes everywhere,” Bell said.
EBRPD officials are working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to try to identify and capture the coyote.
“The victim may have some possible dna of the animal so by us getting the animal, we will be able to link that and say hey, this was the offending animal,” said Lt. Clint Garrett with the Department Fish and Wildlife.
The girl was transported to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland.
The park off the side of Interstate 580 is currently closed until officials are able to catch the coyote responsible for the attack, which could take days.