A 3-year-old girl was bitten by a coyote in a New York City suburb on Tuesday, just four days after a similar attack on another child, according to LoHud.com. The two attacks occurred about 1.5 miles apart in Rye, about 30 miles northeast of Manhattan, and come after an unusual amount of coyote activity in the area this spring.
Bitten on the neck and torso in her backyard, the girl was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. On June 25, two coyotes attacked a 6-year-old girl as she played in her family's yard, resulting in some scratches.
Since these two attacks, police officers in Rye have been authorized to shoot coyotes on sight and kill any that are trapped, and the police chief is warning residents not to allow small children to play outside unattended.
"We are presuming at this point that all coyotes are dangerous animals that may harm our children, and we'll treat them as such," Rye Police Commissioner William Connors told LoHud.com.
In April, an elderly woman's pet poodle was killed by coyotes in her suburban Westchester backyard and some coyotes have been spotted in downtown Manhattan.
Rye is located on a 47-acre wildlife preserve filled with prime coyote prey like whitetailed deer and rodents. Development into wild areas combined with coyotes' natural tendency to roam can lead to clashes with humans, especially when people leave rodent-attracting trash and bird food outside their homes.
A five-year study led by Cornell University is currently investigating aggressive behavior in suburban coyotes in hopes of managing the population rather than killing coyotes.