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Coyote Bites Boy 'Multiple Times' Near Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 6-year-old boy was taken to the hospital Wednesday afternoon, after a coyote bit him several times outside a nature museum in Lincoln Park.

Police said the boy was near the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, at Fullerton and Cannon drives, when a coyote bit him "multiple times" around 4 p.m.

A Fire Department spokesman said the boy was bitten on the head.

The boy was taken to Lurie Children's Hospital to be treated, police and fire officials said. His condition was stabilized, according to police.

After the attack, the coyote took off running north.

In the meantime, CBS 2's Charlie De Mar reported, the coyote was still on the loose Wednesday night. Police drove squad cars along the running paths in the park of Lincoln Park with their spotlights shining.

One officer said over police radio that he planned to reach out to the nearby Lincoln Park Zoo to find out if anyone on staff there would ensnare the coyote.

Meanwhile, Chicago Animal Care and Control officials confirmed two animal control officers were responding to the incident.

About half an hour before the attack, Twitter user Xime Mendez sent CBS 2's De Mar a video of a limping coyote walking down the sidewalk in front of 438 W. Belden Ave., just blocks from the Nature Museum.

In recent days, several coyotes have been spotted walking the streets of the North Side, from Lincoln Park to Old Town and the old Cabrini-Green area.

While attacks on people are extremely rare, dogs have been targets.

A little more than a week ago near Burling and Willow streets in Old Town, a 5-pound toy poodle puppy naked Ki-Ki barely survived a coyote mauling.

The night before, a Schnauzer named Missy was attacked at Cambridge Avenue and Delaware Place in the Cabrini Rowhouses.

And another coyote spent more than four hours in a yard near North and Clybourn avenues and was caught on video howling. It was one of at least 10 reports of coyotes phoned into Chicago Animal Care and Control in the past week.

Coyotes have also been spotted in recent days on Elm Street near Cleveland Avenue – where a man said a coyote chased him and his dog – as well as near the Whole Foods at 1550 N. Kingsbury St., and the Pottery Barn just the other side of North Avenue, among other places.

Experts say coyotes have found ways to adapt to city life because there is food for them in the city such as rodents.

"In general, coyotes are adapting to cities. They're doing better and better over time as they learn how to make use of these urban landscapes that we've created," said Seth Magle of the Lincoln Park Zoo's Urban Wildlife Institute. "I feel confident in saying I think that their numbers are generally on the upswing."

The city says its coyote calls totaled about 268 in 2017. That number that dropped to roughly 146 by 2018, and then rose again to 331 for most of 2019. But those numbers could reflect multiple calls for the same coyote, CBS 2's Vince Gerasole reported.

The Humane Society advises that if you see a coyote, you should not run or turn your back. You should instead shout or throw something in the coyote's direction, in what is called hazing.

If the coyote does not respond to hazing, it may have been fed by someone or found trash left out. Use caution, as the coyote could be aggressive.

As for the 6-year old boy who was bitten, his condition was stable Wednesday evening.

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