Arizona Game and Fish searching for coyote that attacked Scottsdale toddler
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Two children in North Scottsdale were attacked by a coyote in two separate incidents, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department is asking for the public's help in trying to track down the animal.
In one of the incidents, which was captured on camera, one-and-a-half-year-old Brody was stalked, and then attacked by a coyote.
"Out of nowhere, a coyote came and basically attacked. Grabbed his arm and took him to the ground and screamed," said Brody's father, Jeff McAlister. "We came and picked him up. The coyote ran away, and actually came back and looked for his prey.:
McAlister says they were just coming back home from work at the time of the incident.
Jeff McAlister and his son, Brody
"We took him to Phoenix Children's [Hospital], and he did OK," said McAlister. "[Brody] got some rabies shots, and he went to school [on Mar. 23], so he's doing awesome."
Game and Fish officials say coyote sightings have been happening near 94th Street and Thompson Peak Parkway, along the Central Arizona Project canal to Cactus Road.
Multiple crews are patrolling the neighborhoods and will continue doing so until at least Mar. 27.
In the other incident, which happened on Mar. 18, a child was attacked on the playground just two miles north of where Brody was attacked, at Aztec Park.
Two weeks prior to that incident, one neighbor said her dog was attacked by a coyote.
"Coyotes can get over a six to eight foot fence or wall so even in your own backyard," said urban wildlife special Darren Julian. "Pay a little bit more attention to our little ones at this time."
So far, Game and Fish crews have caught and killed four coyotes, but none of them are the one they're looking for.
"We haven't seen it, so we are counting on other eyes in the vicinity here of Aztec Park, probably within a mile radius of this area is for people to let us know and call our 24-hour communication center when they are seeing a coyote in this area," said Julian.
Game and Fish officials say the coyote shows little fear of people, and they are asking everyone to remain vigilant, and report any sightings.
If you see the coyote, you're asked to contact 623-236-7201.
Avoiding conflicts with coyotes
In order to prevent confrontations, the department says to never give wildlife easy access to food, water or shelter.
In these instances, one of the coyotes ate dog food, and people were leaving out muffins and scrambled eggs on purpose for the wild animals.
Game and Fish recommends feeding pets inside and securing trash cans.