Coyote in Chicago that bit child will not be euthanized

A coyote bit a six-year-old child last week on Chicago’s North Side at Lincoln Park. The little boy had been walking with his babysitter when the coyote, who had been hiding in the tall grassy area near the path, came face to face with the child and bit him several times around the head area.

The child’s caretaker kicked, yelled and screamed to discourage the animal and was able to escape on a bus.

The coyote was captured by Chicago Animal Care and Control later in the day and subsequently transferred to the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation on Friday. DNA samples from the coyote and the child’s clothing confirmed the captured coyote was the one that bit the child.

The child has been reported to be doing well and in good spirits.

“The coyote had reportedly been limping at the time of the incident and prior to capture by animal control. Subsequent examination and x-rays of the coyote following capture revealed that the coyote had recently been shot through the neck and a BB is (still) lodged deep inside the coyote’s chest. We cannot definitively determine the extent to which this recent injury may have contributed to the coyote’s behavior at the time of the incident but suspect that it was a contributing factor,” the rescue organization posted on their Facebook page.

The coyote was extremely frightened when he arrived at the rescue and showed signs of stress and trauma, however there has been no aggressive behavior displayed since his capture.

Many people have contacted the rescue concerned about the coyote’s future, especially after the DNA testing came back positive. The coyote will not be euthanized, however he will not be released into the wild.

“We will, instead by placing the coyote, now named Mercy, in a permanent educational setting with specifics yet to be determined. We hope that you will respect and support our decision,” the organization posted. “We hope that Mercy, as an educational ambassador, will serve as a reminder regarding the need for peaceful coexistence.”

There have been no previous reports of a coyote attacking a human in the State of Illinois for the past 100 years.

More information about peaceful coexistence may be found here: https://www.flintcreekwildlife.org/fact_sheets/Coyote_Brochure.pdf

To donate to this organization, please click here.

(Photos Chicago Animal Care and Control)

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