A three-year-old boy in B.C. received more than 100 stitches after he was attacked by a coyote outside of his home.

Amanda Dycke said her son Ayden slipped through the backyard gate to the sidewalk behind their house in Burnaby, B.C. on Tuesday evening. Only seconds later, Dycke said she heard him scream.

“I ran out through the front door,” she recalled to CTV Vancouver on Wednesday. “I didn’t see until I got to the sidewalk that there was a coyote gnawing on his head.”

“He was flailing and screaming.”

The frantic mother said she started clapping and making as much noise as she could to scare off the wild animal. When that failed, Dycke said she charged towards it. The coyote retreated a short distance and Dycke said she was able to pick up her injured son.

“He looked like he was dying,” she said. “His eyes were covered in blood, his ears, his whole shirt.”

“I cradled him and I was telling him, ‘It’s going to be okay.’”

The young boy was rushed to the hospital where he received more than 100 stitches on his forehead and the back of his skull. The worst cut stretched six centimetres across the right side of his forehead. He also suffered several puncture wounds and scratches from the incident.

“It was just the most horrific thing I could ever, ever imagine,” Dycke said.

Ayden is expected to make a full recovery if his wounds don’t become infected, his mother said.

Coyote sightings

As for the coyote, conservation officers caught up with one matching the description and behaviour of the animal that attacked Ayden and killed it. They will conduct DNA tests to ensure they found the right coyote. They will also examine the carcass for any harmful diseases that may have been transferred to the young boy.

Sgt. Dean Miller from the BC Conservation Officer Service said it’s unlikely the boy was exposed to rabies or anything like that, but investigators are doing their “due diligence” to be sure. He said coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare and that most cases can be traced back to people feeding the wild animals.

“That's the best way for a coyote to lose its fear of people. That food reward is a really powerful motivator to change a coyote's behaviour,” he explained.

Dycke said that’s what she believes happened in her son’s case. She said there have been a number of coyote sightings in her community because people feed them.

“People don't understand that it's attracting them. It's making them want to come to an area they shouldn't,” she said. “Because people don't listen to these rules, the information that is put out there, my son is paying the price.”

Miller advised anyone who encounters a coyote to “be big, be brave and be loud” in order to scare off the animal.

With a report from CTV Vancouver’s David Molko