A coyote stalked and then bit a toddler playing in the sand at Huntington Beach in on Thursday night.
The girl, who is said to be about 2 years old, was captured on video getting mauled by a coyote just feet away from her mother, who was watching the surf and did not see the attack, which took place around 9:45 p.m., Huntington Beach police said.
A witness reported seeing the girl’s face covered in blood. The girl was taken to a hospital, where she is expected to recover and will be treated for rabies. Meanwhile, animal control officers located and killed the animal, according to media reports.
Over the past decade, coyotes have been invading Huntington Beach neighborhoods. Apps such as NextDoor and WhatsApp have been flooded with photos and complaints from residents who have been chased by coyotes or whose pets have disappeared or been eaten, with the remains discarded on a neighbor’s lawn.
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One photo in the Orange County Register shows a coyote standing on the roof of a single-family home during daylight hours.
Coyote surveys its domain from a Huntington Beach roof— MedicalQuack (@MedicalQuack) October 3, 2021
A neighbor snapped a picture. She said it looked hungry https://t.co/qrHokeJJir
City and county officials have advised residents to log their experiences on an interactive map, so others can see where the sightings occur, and to keep small pets inside.
A city Coyote Management Plan wants residents to “support coexistence with urban coyotes using education, behavior modification, and development of a tiered response to aggressive coyote behavior.”
Huntington Beach, also known as “Surf City,” is a worldwide tourist destination. Millions flock to the downtown area each year and stay in a string of pricey hotels facing the ocean. It’s not uncommon to see people on the beach at night, which is well lit along the pier.
Such was the case in this attack. The coyote appeared unafraid of people as it circled the area where the girl was playing. Most coyotes hunt for prey at night, but residents have reported seeing them in neighborhoods during the early morning hours.
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A city spokesperson did not return calls and emails from the Washington Examiner seeking comment. In the past, police have reported up to 500 coyote sightings in a single year.