Toddler Asks If Attacking Coyote Was 'Easter Bunny'

Coyote Bites 2½-Year-Old On Broomfield Path

A Broomfield toddler attacked by a coyote later asked, "Daddy, was that the Easter bunny?”

The father recounted Tuesday how the coyote attacked his 2½-year-old son as they walked with the boy's baby sister on a Broomfield open space path Monday night.

The father, who didn't want his name used, told 7NEWS the family was walking on a path that winds through homes in the Anthem subdivision.

The coyote sprang from some tall grass, bit the boy in the lower back and butt area and knocked him to the ground, he said.

"All of a sudden, I see kind of a flash and a scurrying, an animal running towards him," the father said. "It didn't register until right when (the coyote) was there and knocked him over."

"As soon as I saw it, I started to yell and make noise," the father said.

When the boy screamed, the coyote ran back into the grass.

"We got around the corner and he kind of stopped crying and he asked me ... if the Easter bunny bit him. I don't think he knew what hit him," the father said.

"He's seen rabbits all over the place," the father said, adding that the bunnies and coyotes are the same grayish light brown color.

"I explained to him that it was the coyote," the father added.

The father took the boy to an urgent care clinic to be treated for minor puncture wounds. The boy also will undergo a series of rabies shots, the father added. The 9-month-old girl was unharmed.

The father said his son quickly bounced back.

"He's a pretty happy kid."

"But I still have that vision of him on the ground with the coyote," the dad added. "It will take a little time to get over, but I'm so glad he's OK."

Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said her agency has seen an "uptick in coyote-human encounters in the metro area" since 2007. "They are making themselves at home, finding everything they need -- food water shelter and space -- not being scared off."

Yet, she added that it's "aberrant behavior" for a coyote to injure a person. Normally coyotes live around humans without aggressively approaching them.

"We feel like it is really important as a matter of public safety to remove a coyote like this from the population," she said. "Removing this particular animal will make sure that that behavior is removed, which is really critical. We don't want this animal to teach this behavior to young."

Parks officials and trackers have been searching for the coyote and will kill it if they find it, she said.

The Broomfield Police Department has these tips regarding coyotes:

  • Always keep your pets on a leash when they are off your property and don't allow them to roam
  • Never allow your pets to "play" with coyotes
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in your yard. If you leave your pet outside, secure it in a fully enclosed kennel
  • Do not feed coyotes or leave food accessible
  • Keep your distance and do not approach
  • Throw rocks or sticks to keep coyotes away
  • Make yourself appear to be big and use a loud authoritative voice to keep coyotes away
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