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DePaul Students Help Save Child From Coyote

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The hunt is on for the coyote that attacked a little boy in Lincoln Park, And we've heard from two DePaul University students who stepped in to save the boy.

CBS 2's Vince Gerasole had their story Wednesday evening.

On Wednesday night the south side of Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum at Fullerton and Cannon drives, on a path up a hill, a coyote was in the bushes and somehow attacked the child.

As children played on the grass a day later, an all-out search for a troublesome coyote unfolded several blocks to the west in Oz Park.

Two neighboring schools were put on soft lockdown. Animal control officers hunted down the animal with a hoop like trapping device, as nearby families walked carefully by.

"It does seem strange coyotes in the big city," said Kayla Gubbay of Streeterville.

What prompted the search was a limping coyote in Streeterville near Lurie Children's Hospital. It reportedly bit a man overnight in the rear.

Hours earlier, outside Lincoln Park's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, a six-year-old and his babysitter were walking on the nearby path. There, a coyote, possibly a different one, reportedly jumped out of the tall prairie grass attacking the boy in the head.

Two runners from the DePaul track team were running near by, and the helped kick the animal away before the boy was rushed to the hospital.

"We just acted. Went over there as fast as we could. Knew something was wrong," said DePaul sophomore Ryan Taylor. "There was an open CTA bus there. I told him to get on the bus in case the coyote tries to come back for something else."

"I was just trying to make him happy. I told him you'll have quite the story for story time when you go back to school," added DePaul sophomore Dominic Bruce.

The limping coyote has been spotted around town for the past week, in a year where coyote sighting are up.

They've been seen on suburban lawns and city gardens. Coyotes are protected animals who typically avoid humans. Which is why authorities don't usually respond to trap them. That's usually.

When asked what was the line that was crossed that made animal control get involved this time, Kelley Ganderski, executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control said the animal went after a small human.

"It's not acting like a coyote. It was brazen enough to attack a child," Ganderski said.

One of Lynell Dillon's dogs was bitten by a coyote last month on Cambridge Avenue and Delaware Place. CBS 2 caught up with Dillon on Thursday, walking them carefully on a leash as the hunt for the troublesome coyote continued.

"She's really scared of anything big now because she was attacked by a coyote," said Dillon of her Schnauzer, Missy. "I knew they existed, but they are out on the prowl."

CBS 2 has been covering the spike in coyote sightings for days. To see more video, and learn why they prefer well-to-do neighborhoods, click here.



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