Girl feared friend was coyote's 'lunch' during attack
Two young girls recall how they ran up a set of stairs after a close encounter with a coyote Thursday afternoon.
"It was kind of terrifying because when I first saw it, it looked like a coyote and then I ran up the stairs screaming," Julia Cuoto told CTV Toronto's John Mussleman Friday morning.
The eight-year-old girl was not seriously hurt when the coyote jumped a fence into a backyard on Cannonridge Circle from a ravine, biting her lightly on the thigh.
"It hurt, but now it doesn't hurt that much," she said.
Halton Regional Police officers, along with Oakville Animal Control and the Ministry of Natural Resources, were called in and later tracked the coyote to a nearby pathway where it was shot by an officer.
"We were running up the stairs when he was catching up to us and getting faster and faster," said Julia's best friend Sydney Quinlan.
"Julia told me that she almost fell when she was going up the stairs. And she said that she thought that the coyote was going to bite her and drag her down the stairs."
Although her snow pants showed no tear marks from the animal's teeth, Jenny Couto, Julia's mother, said she did have broken skin and bruising near the spot where the animal struck.
Julia must undergo a series of rabies shots as a precaution since officials were not able to determine whether the dead animal was the one responsible for the attack.
Police say more than one set of tracks were found in the area, which indicates more than one animal was in the vicinity. Police are suggesting that residents be vigilant when walking near forested areas.
"My mum says he was just coming to play but I think he was looking for a little bit of lunch from her," Quinlan said.