A 3-year-old girl was bitten by a coyote near Broomfield Monday night, making her the third child bitten by a coyote in three months in the same subdivision. About 7:30 p.m., a family was in their backyard, which backs up to an open space area, when a coyote came into the yard and bit the toddler on the knee. The girl screamed and the coyote ran away.
On Aug. 18, in the same subdivision, a 6-year-old was knocked down and bitten by a coyote while he was walking with his father. Minor puncture wounds were discovered on the boy’s buttocks after his father took him to a nearby hospital.
And one month earlier, a coyote pounced from the grass and bit a 2-year-old boy on his back and buttocks while he was walking with his father.
Authorities are at a loss as to why the aggressive behavior has become so apparent in this Denver suburb, but are concerned that it may be a learned behavior that is being exhibited by a group.
To help reduce the possibility of an attack, new “sandwich board” signs are being used by wildlife officers on the Front Range to alert citizens when bears, mountain lions, or coyotes are active in their communities. The signs will also provide informational pamphlets about possible wildlife conflicts and mitigation methods, and Division of Wildlife contact information.
The use of the signs will be determined by the local wildlife officer—for example, if a bear has been getting into trash in a neighborhood, the Bear Alert sign may be placed nearby. Signs will stay in place for a few days so that the public can be made aware of wildlife activity, but not long enough that residents and visitors might become habituated to the visual signal of the sign.
These signs are part of the Division of Wildlife’s ongoing efforts to assist and inform the public about certain wildlife activity on the Front Range. It is expected that people in an area temporarily affected will heed these alerts, and take advantage of prevention tips and information provided by the signs.
The Division of Wildlife advises precautions when coyote are known to be active, including always supervise pets or small children when they are outside. Also make sure there are no food attractants near your home or in the area (bird feeders, pet food, trash, etc.)