A toddler was injured Friday, Dec. 2 when a coyote attacked her outside her home in Woodland Hills, as captured on a home surveillance video
The video shows a father packing up a large black SUV in front of the house on Martha Street when suddenly a coyote begins dragging the toddler by her legs. Alerted by her screams, the father rushes over, picking up the little girl and shouting at the animal. But the coyote doesn’t run away until the man throws something in its direction.
“I heard her screaming and crying and I thought she fell down and I saw the coyote was there,” the toddler’s father, Ariel Eliyahuo, told NBC Los Angeles. Shira Eliyahuo also told NBC her daughter’s pants were stained with blood from the coyote’s scratches.
Seven coyote attacks on humans had been reported in Los Angeles County before Friday’s incident, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Patrick Foy.
Leading up to the attack, several coyote sightings in the Martha Street neighborhood had been reported to the department, he said.
“There has been a noted coyote problem in that area, and local residents have been reporting an aggressive-acting coyote that had no fear of people,” Foy said.
Due to those reports, Foy said, department personnel were assigned to Martha Street for door-to-door coyote safety outreach Friday around 1 p.m. – just a few hours before the animal grabbed the girl.
Following the attack, the department collected saliva samples from her clothing in an effort to build a “DNA profile” of the coyote so it can be located and euthanized, Foy said. Additionally, personnel with tranquilizer guns were assigned to the neighborhood in case the offending coyote, or others, return.
Foy said coyotes, which are typically fearful of humans, primarily venture into residential neighborhoods to find food. He urged people to not feed coyotes and to also avoid feeding pets outside, as it can attract both coyotes and the rodents they prey on.
More safety tips are available online at keepmewild.org, Foy added.