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Contact: Leslie Reynolds, 508-957-0700
WELLFLEET, Mass—On August 11, 2021 at approximately 8:30 pm, a coyote bit a small child on North Herring Cove Beach within Cape Cod National Seashore. The child was taken to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Park rangers destroyed the coyote responsible and will attempt to locate the body of the animal this morning so it can be tested for rabies.
This summer, rangers have been responding to incidents of coyotes acting assertively toward people in attempts to obtain food. This behavior starts with people feeding the coyotes intentionally by leaving food out, or inadvertently by not removing food scraps and packaging from the beach. This leads to the animals becoming habituated and bold in attempts to obtain food. When wild animals lose their fear of people, they behave unpredictably and aggressively, resulting in injuries to people and a sad ending for the habituated animal.
Keep wildlife wild. Protect your safety and the safety of others. Do not feed or attract wildlife! Report assertive coyote sightings to rangers or the dispatch center at 617-242-5659.
*UPDATE* August 12, 12:08 pm. This morning rangers located the deceased coyote in thick dune vegetation approximately 50 yards from where the ranger shot it. Rangers tracked the coyote last evening after shooting it. Based on the amount of blood they observed they were confident they had mortally injured the animal. They returned this morning to locate and retrieve the body, which will be tested for rabies. We will update if additional information becomes available.