Thursday, February 22

Coyote attack leaves 2-year-old in critical condition in Northeast Dallas, officials say

Dallas police said they shot at the coyote before it ran in the woods near the Vickory Meadows area. Anyone that sees it should call 911.

DALLAS — A 2-year-old was critically injured after being attacked by a coyote in front of a home in the White Rock Valley area Tuesday morning, Dallas police said. The search for the coyote is underway. 

Dallas police responded to the home on Royalpine Drive at about 8:30 a.m. When officers got there, they learned that the child was attacked while sitting on the front porch. 

According to police, the 2-year-old was sent to a hospital in critical condition. 

An officer saw a coyote near a park on Royalpine and shot at it before it ran into the woods. It’s not clear if the coyote was hit by a bullet.

The Dallas County Game Warden joined police as they continued looking for the coyote. 

Around 3:00 p.m., Dallas Animal Services said the coyote was isolated in a wooded area after being located by the Dallas Police Department’s infrared drone. The city’s wildlife biologist is responding to the area. 

Dallas Animal Services says during the investigation into the attack, it was clear that the coyote was well known in the neighborhood and residents were routinely handfeeding and petting the coyote due to its lack of fear of human contact.

“This tragic incident shows why it is critical that residents treat all wildlife as wild animals – when wild animals become too comfortable around hums, there is an increase in problematic and dangerous interactions such as this one that put both residents and the animal itself at risk,” Dallas Animal Services said in part in a news statement released Tuesday afternoon.

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Dallas Animal Services said if you run into the coyote, call 911 and don’t approach it. Try these hazing techniques to scare it off: 

  • Use your body: The simplest method of hazing is making yourself loud and large. Stand tall, wave your arms and yell at the coyote until it runs away.
  • Use noisemakers: Try sounding off whistles, air horns, or bells; shake soda cans filled with pennies or pebbles; stomp your feet or bang pots and pans together.
  • Use projectiles: Toss sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls near the coyote to startle it (do not attempt to hit the coyote with these objects).
  • Others: Spray the coyote with a hose or fill a water gun or spray bottle with vinegar water and spray at them. Pepper spray and bear repellant may also be used.

A representative of Richardson ISD told WFAA that students nearby at White Rock Elementary School are being kept inside the building for the day. 

In a letter to parents, the school principal says district security has been talking to police as they work to bring in the coyote. 

If they don’t find it by the end of the school day, families that have students who walk home are asked to either pick up their children or walk with them. 

District staff will also be in the neighborhood as kids head home.

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