Coyote Attacks 3-year old Boy
on Cape Cod

Associated Press, 07/30/98 04:25

SANDWICH, Mass. (AP) - Police shot and killed a coyote that attacked a 3-year-old boy playing in his back yard on Cape Cod.

The boy's mother told police she had to pry the coyote off her son Wednesday night.

Daniel Neal suffered scratches and bites, but did not appear seriously injured, Sandwich police Sgt. Daniel O'Connell said. The boy was listed in good condition early today at Children's Hospital in Boston.

Peter Trull, a coyote researcher, said it's the first documented coyote attack on a human in Massachusetts.

The female coyote was shot by a police officer who rushed to the home after a frantic call from the mother. The animal will be tested for rabies.

Police had increased patrols of the neighborhood after receiving about a dozen calls in recent days about an overly aggressive coyote.

Wildlife officials say the state's coyote population appears to be growing steadily. Some wildlife biologists said they have lost their ability to effectively manage the coyote population because a new law bars the use of leg traps. The ban's proponents said the traps were cruel.

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