A coyote matching the description of the animal authorities say critically injured a 2-year-old boy in Dallas, Texas, on Tuesday has been shot and killed, according to officials and local reports.
Dallas Animal Services (DAS) told Fox News Digital on Thursday that it was unable to confirm whether the coyote that USDA officials shot late Wednesday was the same animal that attacked the toddler.
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The attack happened just before 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday in the 9200 block of Royalpine Drive in Dallas, police have said. The child was sitting on the front porch of the home when the coyote attacked.
Brett Johnson, an urban biologist with Dallas Parks and Recreation, told FOX4 Dallas-Forth Worth that the coyote wanted in the attack, pictured above, appears to have a case of mange and looks emaciated.
(Dallas Police Department)
The child’s father told FOX4 Dallas-Fort Worth that his son was left alone on the family’s front porch for a moment when the coyote attacked. He said the child’s mother screamed and chased the coyote to get the animal to drop the toddler.
The toddler suffered lacerations to his neck and head, the station reported. He underwent surgery Tuesday and is expected to recover.
“When a coyote attacks, it’s usually an unwell coyote, a coyote that’s not healthy,” Sam Kieschnick with Texas Parks and Wildlife previously told the station. “That’s a coyote that should be removed from the population.”
The attack came less than a week after a coyote attacked a 2-year-old girl on Southern California’s Huntington Beach. That coyote was later shot dead.
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The coyote in Dallas was well-known in the neighborhood and residents had routinely hand fed and pet the animal, actions that the DAS says “eroded the coyote’s natural fear of humans and gave it the confidence to carry out this attack.”
“This tragic incident shows why it is critical that residents treat all wildlife as wild animals – when wild animals become too comfortable around humans, there is an increase in problematic and dangerous interactions such as this one that put both residents and the animal itself at risk,” the agency said in a post on Facebook.
However, residents have disputed the agency’s claim.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.