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Dad of tot attacked by coyote speaks out

May 5, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The father of a 2-year-old attacked by a coyote, and the babysitter that pulled the girl from the animal's jaws, speak out about the terrifying animal encounter. The 2-year-old girl is doing well after the coyote attack last week. Meanwhile, a search by wildlife officials has turned up nothing.Alterra Park is where the attack happened last Friday. The baby was playing in the sandbox when all of a sudden, a coyote came out from the brush alongside the park and attacked her. The park is closed until further notice. The child is going to be OK, thanks in large part to quick action by the babysitter who jumped in, pulled the toddler away from the coyote, rescuing her.

Three days after being attacked by a coyote near her home, toddler Madison Schuler is doing just fine.

"She's doing well," said Madison's father, Matthew Schuler. "We're actually en route to get another set of shots for rabies vaccine."

On Friday, police say the little girl was playing outside when she was suddenly attacked by the coyote. The animal bit her three times, but her babysitter, Alejandra Morales, came to her rescue.

"The baby was playing, and then in once second, the coyote bit the baby," said Morales. "Scary."

The U.S. Fish and Game Dept. says coyotes are generally afraid of humans, but their behavior can be erratic.

Meantime, Madison's father is glad to hear two animals were caught on Sunday.

"My wife actually received a call today saying they may have caught at least two coyotes, and one of them fits the description of being injured. So they may have the coyote but there's no way to tell if it's the same one that bit Madison," said Matthew Schuler.

The family is hoping that authorities did catch the animal that attacked Madison.

Alterra Park is closed until further notice.

It's worth pointing out that this isn't the first attack in the area: Last October a 3-year-old was attacked by a coyote. That child is also OK.

Authorities tell people to keep their pets inside. If you happen to come across a coyote, generally they are afraid of humans. Make noise, the experts say, and do your best to scare the animal away.

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Chino Hills officials urge residents to learn the steps they should take to live safely near open space areas and wildlife.

  • Residents need to take steps to protect their children and small pets at all times, even in their own back yards, their front yards, and at all local parks.
  • Children and small pets should be supervised at all times and should not be left outside alone.
  • Pets should be fed inside if possible. Outdoor food and water dishes should be removed when pets finish their meals.
  • Residents should never leave water or food out for wildlife.
  • Trash cans should be covered and not over-filled so as not to attract animals scavenging for food.
  • If a resident sees a coyote, they should make loud noises, throw rocks, jump around, or spray the animal with a garden hose. Walkers may want to carry a stick and wave it if they encounter a coyote. Hikers, equestrians, and others who enjoy the City's 38 miles of trails need to use extra precaution because most of the trails are surrounded by open space.
Residents should immediately contact the IVHS at (909) 623-9777 if they encounter a wild animal that behaves aggressively, appears sick, or exhibits unusual behavior. After hours or weekend sightings of unusual wild animal behavior should be reported to Chino Hills Police / Sheriff's Dispatch by calling (909) 465-6638.

 

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