Alberta girl recovering after suspected coyote attack
Published Monday, June 29, 2015 8:46AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, June 29, 2015 8:55AM EDT
An 11-year-old Alberta girl is recovering after she was attacked by an animal her mother believes to be a coyote.
Lolene Young-Condon said the attack happened as her children were stargazing outside their home at about 1 a.m. Saturday in the northwestern town of Valleyview.
Young-Condon said she had just walked inside when the attack happened.
"I heard some screeching, crying sounds that I had never heard before," she told CTV Edmonton. "The mama bear came out in me; I flew down the steps and charged after it. I was going to kill it with my bare hands.
"This animal was trying to eat her."
The girl was taken to hospital, where she received more than 20 stitches to close wounds on her head and hands.
Fish and Wildlife officers said the girl's bite marks look like they came from a dog, not a coyote, but are still investigating.
The incident is the second suspected coyote attack to take place this month, leaving the town's residents on edge.
Jason Dubrule said he was sleeping on his deck a couple of weeks ago when he was attacked by two coyotes.
"I ripped my arm out of its mouth, and I started rolling over," he said. "But then there was another coyote on my foot, and he was trying to drag me away."
He said he was able to chase the animals away, and reported the incident to the province’s Fish and Wildlife officers.
Fish and Wildlife were not able to locate the two coyotes. It says the coyote population is stable, but residents are seeing them more as the animals head into cities and towns in search of food.
Stories like Young-Condon's and Dubrule's don't sit well with Valleyview residents.
"Definitely living on the edge of town like this, I've never left the children out without being around them," one father said. "It's definitely concerning, that's for sure."
Fish and Wildlife have tips on what to do if you encounter a coyote on its website.
It suggests making the experience “unpleasant” for the animal, by waving your arms over your head, and throwing rocks, sticks and other objects at the animal.
“If the coyote continues to approach, back away slowly and move toward buildings or human activity if the coyote continues to approach,” the website says. “Do not turn away or run. This will encourage the coyote to chase you.”
With a report from CTV Edmonton's Josh Skurnik