A coyote killed after attacking a toddler at Cape Cod National Seashore, the agency has said this behavior begins when people feed coyotes because when wild animals lose their fear of people they behave unpredictably.
Coyote killed after attacking 3-year-old girl on Cape Cod beach
The victim, a 3-year-old girl, was taken to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis with what officials described in the NPS news release as “non-life-threatening injuries.”
Responding Rangers identified and shot the coyote, which later died. The animal was located the next day and ultimately tested negative for rabies.
Rangers have responded to several incidents involving coyotes seeking food from people, the NPS said in an update Saturday.
“This behavior begins when people intentionally feed coyotes by leaving food out, or inadvertently failing to remove food scraps and packaging from the beach,” the agency said in the statement.
It continued, “When wild animals lose their fear of people, they behave unpredictably and aggressively, resulting in injury to people and a sad ending for the habituated animal.”
In late July, another incident made national headlines after a New York woman fought off a coyote for 10 minutes during a hike at Race Point Beach in Wellfleet.
Marcy Sterlis, a deputy director in New York City, escaped unharmed after fisherman Andrew DeCarton and boat captain William Kelley came to her rescue. DeCarton, who filmed the incident on his cell phone, said Kelley managed to distract the animal long enough for the victim to flee.
At one point, Sterlis said, the wild animal was about a foot away. “It was a little too curious because it wasn’t responding to my shouts to get away from me or shaking the stick,” he told WFXT .
This also marks the second time park rangers have killed a coyote at Herring Cove Beach in 15 months. The last occurrence was in May 2020 after a coyote bit a visitor on May 23 of that year.