In suburban areas, parents probably don’t expect to hear of many animal attacks in the area, let alone be a victim of one. However, on Sunday evening, two families from Arlington, Massachusetts nearly lost their toddlers to coyote attacks.
In the first instance, the animal approached the two-year-old girl in her Epping Street yard. The coyote then bit her on the back and tried to drag her away.
Later that same night, the animal scratched another two-year-old on Summer Hill Circle. Because the two neighborhoods are only a half-mile apart, animal control officials believe the same coyote attacked the two girls. As a precaution, both toddlers received treatment for their injuries at a local hospital. Thankfully, medical staff members do not believe that their conditions are life-threatening.
Meanwhile, the perpetrating coyote still remains at large. Though officials have yet to locate the animal, they are keeping a closer eye on animal attacks in the area. The Arlington Police Department, Arlington Health and Human Services and the Massachusetts Environmental Police are investigating the issue.
According to the Boston Herald, the incidents on Sunday evening are not the only recent coyote attacks in the area. Just last month, Massachusetts police received two more reports of children with coyote-related injuries. In Cutler Hill Road in Arlington, a coyote approached a five-year-old boy in a sandbox and bit him. Over on Provincetown beach, a similar incident occurred.
Human Interaction Could Cause Increase in Coyote Attacks
In order to prevent future attacks, a conservation group called Project Coyote gave a few tips for avoiding interactions with the animal. Making eye contact, walking towards them, making loud noises and large movements can scare the unwanted visitors away, a tactic called “hazing.”
However, this does not work for all members of the species. Project Coyote stated that hazing does not work on sick or injured coyotes or during their mating season in early Spring.
Surely, this advice will surely help any concerned parents keep their kids safe while playing in their yards. However, this doesn’t quite solve the problem of increasing coyote attacks.
Recently, San Francisco Animal Care and Control officials were on the hunt for a woman that repeatedly fed wild coyotes with a container of raw meat. While it might seem a bit extreme to be so adamant about the charge, this type of behavior leads to dangerous animal interaction. Feeding wild animals like coyotes encourages them to approach and therefore attack humans.
Virginia Donohue, executive director of the city’s Animal Care and Control, told the San Francisco Chronicle that this is “100 percent a human problem.”
“We have too many people feeding coyotes or trying to befriend them,” Donohue said. “Ultimately it ends badly for the wildlife.”