PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Two children were likely attacked by coyotes during separate incidents in southwest Portland, according to Multnomah Animal Services
The county investigated reports that a seven-year-old girl was bitten on Tuesday and an eight-year-old girl was scratched by a coyote two weeks ago. Both incidents occurred in the Bridlemile neighborhood off SW Scholls Ferry Road.
The case has now been handed to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. A department spokesman said the agency is following up on the attack and will start its own investigation.
ODFW said it will come up with a potential plan to deal with the coyotes next week, but what that will look like is uncertain at this point.
ODFW is urging area neighbors to keep a close eye on young children and pets.
Sarah Cusick said her seven-year-old daughter, Emma, was walking home from the bus stop Tuesday afternoon when a coyote first watched her daughter before lunging at her.
“It ran at her, jumped on her, tried to knock her down and was jumping and nipping, and finally bit her on the leg and then ran away,” Cusick said.
“After it bit me it ran away and I ran up to my house,” Emma added. “I don’t think it’s that unusual that there was a coyote here, but it was unusual in the daytime, and that it attacked me.”
Cusick said the bite went through her daughter’s pants leaving a gash. The little girl also was scratched. She was treated at the hospital for the bite and given a rabies vaccination.
Less than two weeks prior, eight-year-old Jazmen Shelton was playing outside when she was attacked.
“I was just crouching down playing with some mud and a coyote just pounced on my back,” Jazmen said. “I was very scared when I saw it, so I kind of took one step at a time toward it and I grabbed some mud and I threw it at it.”
Jazmen said the coyote then ran off.
According to her father, Corey Shelton, at least some of the incident was caught on the family’s surveillance video, although the footage has since been wiped from the system. Shelton said the video showed the coyote watching Jazmen for a couple minute while her back was turned. A car blocking the camera’s view prevented it from capturing the coyote jumping on Jazmen.
Jazmen told FOX 12 she’s now afraid to play outside.
“I don’t want it to happen again,” Jazen said.
Area neighbors said they are stunned and alarmed.
Christie Martin has a home backing up to a large green space.
“We believe there’s a den of coyotes back here in the back, we’ve heard them howling a lot of times,” Martin said.
Martin said the coyotes seem to have gotten more brazen in just the last couple of months.
“We’ve seen juveniles, or what we perceive to be juveniles, because we work from home, come up to the fence, nose to nose with our dogs,” Martin said.
According to ODFW, neighbors should keep their children and pets close, avoid leaving food out or garbage unattended. People should also make coyotes feel unwelcome: make yourself big, yell and throw rocks at coyotes.
Neighbors are encouraged to fence their yards and install motion-detector lights if they feel coyotes are a nuisance or safety issue.
People should call 911 in event of a coyote attack.
For more tips from ODFW about coyotes, visit: www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/coyotes.asp
You can also track and report coyote sightings in Portland here: www.portlandcoyote.com
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