A small park surrounded by homes in Southern California became the scene of a parent's worst nightmare when a 6-year-old boy was attacked by a coyote.
The boy was playing at Springbrook Park in the Woodbridge community of Irvine on Sunday around 7 p.m. when the brazen coyote bit the boy on the arm and tried to drag him away, California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan told the Orange County Register.
The boy's father and other bystanders managed to get the coyote to drop the boy and scare the animal away, leaving the boy with minor cuts, scratches and bites on his arm.
Officials captured and euthanized one coyote Tuesday and had planned to continue searching through Wednesday for the offending coyote. Hughan said it was difficult to determine if the captured coyote was the one involved in the attack since little forensic evidence from the child's clothing could be found.
"Irvine is a hot spot for coyotes, unfortunately," Hughan told the Register.
Coyotes have bitten six people in the last year in Irvine. Last October, an Irvine man and his 3-year-old son were bitten by a coyote in front of their home, the Associated Press reported.
Coyote sightings in Southern California have increased "substantially" in the past few years, Hughan said.
Irvine residents in Portola Springs were put on edge last year when there was a series of coyote attacks on children. Fish and Wildlife officials were able to trap and euthanize a coyote that was responsible for three of five biting incidents.
If you encounter a coyote, wave your arms, stomp your feet and shout to discourage it from approaching, Mohr said. Keep pets on a leash no longer than six feet and keep them indoors, especially after dark. Remove pet food, water, fallen fruit and open trash cans from around your home.
More from GrindTV