Child injured by coyote in Irvine CA.

spectr17

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Child injured by coyote in Irvine . A police officer kills the animal after it bit the boy at a park. It is the latest in a string of coyote-related incidents in Orange County CA.

July 18, 2001

By MONICA VALENCIA and JOAN HANSEN, The Orange County Register


IRVINE

A coyote bit a 3-year-old while he was playing in the middle of a soccer field in the middle of the city Monday night.

Jag Saikumar said he allowed his son Kaushik to wander off about 15 feet in an open soccer field at San Leandro Park by Culverdale Elementary School. About 8:15 p.m., a coyote came out from behind the school's portable classrooms and ran full speed toward Kaushik, knocked him down and bit his leg.

"It was like watching the Discovery Channel, with my son as the prey," Saikumar said.

Kaushik was treated at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach for a puncture wound to his right calf and released Monday night.

An Irvine police officer shot and killed the coyote. The carcass was taken to the Orange County Animal Shelter, where tests for rabies were negative.

The attack was the first of its kind in the county during a year of unusually high reports of coyote sightings, said Angel Raton, a patrol lieutenant with the state Department of Fish and Game. The late rain season lends itself to more vegetation, more rabbits and subsequently a bigger coyote population, he said.

"Every city in the county is affected in one way or another," said Raton, who is monitoring a rash of coyote sightings and pet deaths in Tustin. "New developments are adjacent to open space and wildlife corridors."

Raton said that in this case, coyotes run through river channels and creek beds near San Leandro Park.

The park lends itself to three necessities for coyote survival - food, water and shelter.

Gerald Borjeson, administrative warden at Fish and Game, said it's unusual for coyotes to display aggressive behavior toward people.

"If a human approaches, they usually take off in the other direction," said Borjeson, of the department's regional office in San Diego.

He said that in this incident, it's possible the coyote had been fed by people before.

In Monday night's attack, Saikumar frantically looked for a weapon, such as a rock, as his son ran toward his mother.

The coyote wouldn't back down, even after Saikumar threw his leather sandal at it. The coyote chewed on the sandal, dropped it and then went for Saikumar.

"I will never underestimate a wild animal again," he said.

The father picked up his son, and they fled the park. Saikumar called police from his cell phone while driving to Hoag Hospital.

Two police officers drove to the park at 8:50 p.m. after getting the report, said Lt. Sam Allevato, spokesman for the Irvine Police Department.

An officer fired one shot at the coyote and killed it, he said.

Register news researcher Gayle Carter contributed to this report.



Coyote facts and encounters in Orange County

• The average adult coyote weighs about 30 pounds and is about 24 inches tall on all fours.

• Coyotes are chiefly nocturnal.

• A single coyote has an average territory of 1.5 square miles. A coyote family might occupy as much as 5 square miles.

• Coyotes give birth in April and May. The average litter consists of two to six pups.

• When seen at night, coyotes' eyes have a greenish-gold shine. The coyote's tail, bushier than a dog's, is between its legs when it runs.

• Coyotes eat opossums, rats, cats, dogs, pet food and garbage.
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Here are some reports of encounters with coyotes in Orange County:

April 1991: Coto de Caza girl, 2, attacked in her back yard by a coyote but not seriously injured.

October 1991: Man said he was surrounded by 10 or more coyotes after falling from his horse in Irvine Regional Park. They retreated when he threw rocks at them.

January 1992: Woman said she was surrounded by at least 10 coyotes while riding her horse in San Juan Capistrano. Horse suffered minor bite wounds.

May 1992: Five-year-old San Clemente girl attacked in her back yard but not seriously injured.

September 1995: Coyote bit 3-year-old on thigh, face and head near her Fullerton home.

July 2001: Documentation of more than 30 coyote incidents in Tustin, ranging from sightings to pet deaths, prompted state Department of Fish and Game to intervene.
 



QALHNTR

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It's amazing how dense most city folk are.  Build right against the hills and the animals will find you.  Took my scout troop up to Green Valley Lake for the weekend.  About 4am we had a pack of yotes run through camp howling all the way.  It put a real scare in most of the parents - they'd never heard the sound before.  My inlaws live in Big Bear and the next door neighbor was visited by a bear two nights ago.  Why?  She leaves dog food out for the cute animals.  She has no dogs.  I've mentioned on several posts how I've seen yotes, bobcats, and deer in Brea (about 8 miles from Disneyland).  Even my neighbors don't realize how close the WILD THINGS are until pet kitty is eaten.  Hope the little guy rebounds.  Shoot straight.
 

Marty

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Quailhunter,  What neighborhood in BBear was the bear seen?  
 

Fubar

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Marty I have a friend who lives in Forest Falls and they have several bears coming by their house all the time. They dont feed their dogs outside but the bears have torn the door off the shed looking for something to eat inside. She tells me the bear stands on its hind legs with its two front paws on the window so it can look inside the house.              Fubar
 

QALHNTR

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Marty,  they live in Evergreen Estates.  It's up Summit Blvd and to the left.  The forest boundry is about 300 yards away.  Head up past the Marine campground and you'll hear gobblers.  Saw two last fall.  
 

Rob

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Spectra17 do you recall the incident about 6months to 1 year ago when someone was bitten in allesian park next to dodger stadium?  The culpret was that someone was supposedly feeding the coyote regularly.  And some poor person took a nap in the park with their shoes and little mister coyote cam along and said this smelly foot smells like the crap people normally feed me "chomp".  Most people here in So.Cal. Don't have a clue about wild animals at all. They love to see them at their back porch eating out of their cat food dish, then when the family pet dissapears they scream bloody murder.  The whole time these are the people that whould love to ban us from even looking sideways at wildlife.
I've heard many stories about kids being dragged into the brush by predators,  The kids I know of sound just like a rabbit. I should use my nephew as bait.
The incident was probably a fluke,  or bad judgment on someone part.
 

rusman66

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I Find it interesting that none of these stories mention the fact that trapping has been banned. This problem is not soley due to a little extra rainfall, and will only continue to get worse. My father trapped, just as a hobby and removed quite a few coyotes from the area.  Its not to hard to do the math!!
 

spectr17

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Rob,

So many pilgrims in the city and country feed animals that end up causing problems. All you can do is try to educate them and hope they stop. I know several people who like to throw feed corn for the turkeys in the winter. This low grade UNINSPECTED corn is known to contain a higher rate of aflotoxins which can wipe out a whole flock of turkeys. This point is lost of them because they wouldn't be able to point out the window or take as many pics. It's actually illegal in some states to feed wild animals because of the problems it generates.
 

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