The search is on for a coyote that bit a Broomfield toddler on Monday evening. Once found, the animal, which is now deemed a public safety risk, will be killed.
The 21/2-year-old boy, who was not seriously hurt, was walking with his father and 9-month-old sister around 8 p.m. Monday in the Anthem neighborhood in northern Broomfield when the attack happened. The boy's father, who asked not to be identified to protect his family, said a small coyote emerged from tall grass adjacent to the trail and bit the boy on his back and buttocks.
"As soon as I saw (the coyote) I started yelling and stuff," he said. "He still had time to knock my son over and bite him in the lower back area. (The coyote) then ran about 20 or 25 yards up the trail before turning around and looking at me before running off."
The father immediately took his children home and drove his son to The Children's Hospital urgent care center on Colo. 7. He said his son received a rabies vaccination and is recovering well from the incident.
While the incident certainly shook him, he doesn't think it will sour his family's love of the outdoors.
"We love being outside and we love wildlife, but obviously it was a little bit traumatic for me to see," he said. " So, I think right now my attitude has changed a little bit, but I think over time it will subside and go back to where it was, which was not overly concerned (about wildlife). I'm just glad it wasn't worse."
Broomfield Animal Control and Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife officers were called to the area on Monday. Wildlife officers began a search for the coyote, which is still ongoing.
The attack is being classified as "dangerous coyote behavior" as listed in the city's policy on coexistence for wildlife, which means once it is located, the coyote will be killed by wildlife officers. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for responding to incidents involving wildlife and human contact.