Chicago animal control services say the coyote they captured earlier this month is the same one that bit a 6-year-old boy.
The animal had been shot in the chest with a BB gun, “which could have caused the limp in its movements as well as the aggressive behavior,” the Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC) told CNN through an emailed statement.
CACC said they worked alongside the United States Department of Agriculture and used DNA testing to determine the coyote they captured was the one that bit the boy.
The child was attacked January 8 in Lincoln Park neighborhood and the animal bit him multiple times. The boy’s caretaker repeatedly kicked the coyote until it ran away, Chicago Police Officer Ana Pacheco confirmed to CNN. The child was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago in stable condition, Pacheco said.
The animal will remain at a local wildlife rehabilitation center, CACC said.
“We want to thank our city, county, state and federal partners for their resources and support during (the) successful and safe capture of the coyote,” it said.
The strange string of coyote sightings
The attack on the boy was one of two coyote-related attacks reported that day. A string of coyote sightings had also been reported.
A 32-year-old man reported that a coyote bit his buttocks while he was walking near Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He walked into the hospital in good condition and will be treated and released, Pacheco said. That coyote attack occurred less than three miles away from the Lincoln Park mauling. But it’s not clear whether the same coyote is responsible.
It’s not uncommon for coyotes to settle in urban green spaces, CACC says — but attacks on people remain extremely rare as the animals tend to avoid humans.
Before this month, there hadn’t been any reported coyote attacks on humans in Illinois for the last 30 years, according to a CACC coyote coexistence plan.
“Coyotes are common throughout the Chicagoland area and protected under the Illinois Wildlife Code,” the CACC said in its statement. “Residents should take caution if they encounter a coyote and notify CACC by calling 311. It remains extremely rare for a coyote to approach or bite a person.”