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With Coyote Attacks On The Rise, People Need To Be More Aware

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) - Wildlife experts say people are getting lax when it comes to coyotes. In a recent case, a little girl in Colorado Springs suffered serious injuries after a coyote attack.

Anywhere a person is in the state of Colorado, there's a coyote less than a half mile away. Experts say people may not be doing enough to keep the animals away.

It's a disturbing trend with no end in sight.

"I just started screaming, 'A coyote attacked my baby.' I yelled for my husband," the mother of the young girl in Colorado Springs said.

Gruesome pictures tell the story of the coyote attack on the 2-year-old girl. It happened in broad daylight last week in Colorado Springs. The animal bit the child on the head and then ran.

Coyote Attack
Injuries to the 2-year-old who was attacked by a coyote (credit: CBS)
Coyote Attack
Injuries to the 2-year-old who was attacked by a coyote (credit: CBS)

"Especially since I was a couple feet away, she was just right behind me and I didn't see it coming. I wasn't like in the middle of the woods, I was at a playground with lots of children," the mother said.

"It's really disturbing," Jennifer Churchill with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.

Churchill said in the Denver metro area alone, coyote attacks on humans are on the rise.

"It went from one a year to 2, 3, 4, 5, in the last few years, each year. So we definitely have a situation we need to grapple with," Churchill said.

Churchill said in many cases coyotes are being fed like pets. That's led to a situation where the dangerous wild animals no longer fear human contact.

"Definitely something's going on. Our coyotes really aren't afraid of people," Churchill said.

In Broomfield, signs at Country Vista Park warn of the coyote danger. Parent Glenda Graff frequently sees the animals. She says parents need to be vigilant

"You need to pay attention to what's going on," Graff said.

With coyotes moving closer to civilization, Churchill says it's up to humans to take away the welcome mat.

"Grab a noisemaker, grab a walking stick. Be nasty and rude, because we can't have them be so comfortable that they injure our pets or our children," she said.

Right now the little girl is back at home for the rest of her recovery.

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