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Toddler hospitalized in critical condition after coyote attack

Officials say the coyote was well-known in the area, and people had been feeding and petting it. (WFAA, VIEWER VIDEO, DALLAS ANIMAL SERVICES, TWITTER, CNN)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 5:04 AM CDT
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DALLAS (WFAA) - A 2-year-old boy was critically injured after being attacked by a coyote on the front porch of his Dallas home, police say.

Anthony Divenuti lives directly across the street from where a 2-year-old boy was attacked by a coyote. It happened about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday in Dallas’ Lake Highlands neighborhood.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” Divenuti said. “That little boy was sitting on his front porch, and that animal came right up to the porch, unfazed whatsoever, and attacked him.”

The 2-year-old was rushed to the hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

Even after the attack, Divenuti says the coyote showed no fear.

“[It] came out across the street and stood there, staring in the direction of where the EMTs and the parents were,” he said.

Police say an officer saw the coyote near a park after the attack and shot at it before it ran into the woods. It’s not clear if the animal was hit by a bullet.

Around 3 p.m., Dallas Animal Services said the coyote had been located, isolated in a wooded area.

During an investigation into the attack, animal services says it was revealed that the coyote was well-known in the neighborhood, and residents had been feeding and petting it.

“This tragic incident shows why it is critical that residents treat all wildlife as wild animals,” said animal services in a statement.

Some neighbors say they’ve been calling the city and complaining about the coyote.

Clark Collier says he saw the animal on Easter hanging out near the park at White Rock Elementary School. He says it locked eyes with a child.

“It looked like it wanted to attack a kid,” Collier said.

Coyotes are generally reclusive animals who prefer to avoid human contact, but they still creep into North Texas neighborhoods.

Animal services says anyone who sees a coyote should call 911 and not approach it. Making loud noises, such as banging pots and pans, should help scare it off.

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