Irvine child's coyote attack 4th in last two months

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A warning has been issued to residents in an Irvine neighborhood where there has been a growing number of coyote attacks on children.

A coyote attacked a 3-year-old girl at Silverado Park near Silverado and Equinox in May.

The girl was taken to a hospital and was released hours later with a minor cut on her neck.

Since then, there have been three more attacks involving young children in Irvine. The most recent attack occurred Sunday and involved a 2-year-old child.

"It was a child, about approximately 2 years old, was in the garage. They opened the garage up and the coyote came in and actually got the child on the neck area and part of the cheek," said Lt. Kent Smirl of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

All four children suffered minor injuries. Coyotes have been spotted in several cities across Southern California, including at the Los Alamitos Race Course and in areas with new development, but authorities are particularly concerned about the recent aggressiveness.

Trappers have euthanized five coyotes, and at least one was linked through DNA to one of the attacks.

Wildlife experts warn people to keep small pets inside at dawn and dusk when coyotes are most active. Keep pet food and water dishes inside.

If a coyote approaches, make noise, pick up small children and pets, and don't turn your back to the animal.
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