The coyote attacked the toddler on Tuesday in Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, according to a news release from the Fountain Valley Police Department. The girl is recovering from her injuries, police said in another news release.
Wildlife officers on Thursday trapped and euthanized the coyote in the park, Patrick Foy, a captain at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told CNN. DNA from the child’s clothing was matched to the coyote’s DNA, Foy said.
Coyotes are native to California where they help keep rodent populations under control, California Department of Fish and Wildlife says. But the canines can still pose a threat to humans, especially if they become accustomed to interacting with humans or eating human food.
In April, a coyote attacked and injured a young girl on Huntington Beach, causing serious injuries. Foy said that there have been one or two other coyote attacks on humans in California this year.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife encourages residents to avoid feeding coyotes and to keep trash in secure bins to prevent coyotes from being accustomed to coming near humans. If you encounter a coyote, you should keep a safe distance, make noise by shouting or clapping your hands, and make yourself bigger by lifting and waving your arms, according to the department.