Child injured in third coyote attack

LOMA LINDA It's the third reported coyote attack in the past week. This time a wild animal grabbed a 2-year-old girl in its teeth and tried to drag her away.

The savage attack happened Tuesday in Lake Arrowhead. The child was airlifted to Loma Linda University Children's Hospital.

This is the third attack by a coyote on a child in the Inland Empire in the past six months. The first two attacks occurred at a park in Chino Hills neighborhood, and the latest attack occurred in the San Bernardino Mountains at Lake Arrowhead. All of the children were treated at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital. Fortunately, all the victims survived.

The attack on the 2-year-old child occurred Tuesday shortly before noon on Laurel Dr. in Lake Arrowhead.

Melissa Rowley was taking pictures of her 2-year-old daughter and three other children. She was putting her camera away.

Arden Wiltshire is with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept. "[Rowley] came out, she saw that a coyote had attacked her 2-year-old daughter and was attempting to drag that child out into the street," said Wiltshire. "She ran out after the coyote -- it dropped the child -- she was able to scoop the child up into her arms and get the children back into the residence."

Neighbors told Eyewitness News what they heard and saw.

"I'm sorry I didn't call Fish and Game earlier, or Animal Control, because that coyote has been hanging around here for several weeks," said neighbor Dottie Edwards.

The baby was airlifted to Loma Linda Children's Hospital, treated for punctures to the head and neck and a laceration of her mouth. The toddler is expected to recover; she's being released.

"What the Sheriff's Department is currently doing in the Lake Arrowhead area is we're passing out fliers and information about coyotes, and to keep an eye on your children, to local residents so that they are aware that this is something that's going on," said Wiltshire.

Last Friday, another toddler was grabbed by a coyote as she played in the sand at a neighborhood park in Chino Hills. Her nanny was able to rescue the baby. The child was also treated at Loma Linda University Children's Hospital

Wildlife experts feel that the fires last summer may have reduced the habitat of the coyotes, making them more aggressive. And the Rowleys have been at the hospital with their child. They plan to issue a statement through the Sheriff's Dept.


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