PROVINCETOWN, Massachusetts — A coyote bit a small child on a Cape Cod beach on Wednesday evening, authorities said.
The child was bitten on North Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown, which is within the Cape Cod National Seashore, at about 8:30 p.m., according to seashore Deputy Superintendent Leslie Reynolds.
The child’s gender and age were not disclosed. The child was bitten in the face/neck/shoulder area, Reynolds said in a telephone interview Thursday.
The child was taken to Cape Cod Hospital in Barnstable with injuries not considered life threatening, she said.
Park rangers shot the coyote and were searching for the body Thursday so it can be tested for rabies. It had not been found as of late morning.
Rangers have responded to several reports this summer of assertive coyotes approaching people looking for food, the statement said. The animals have been emboldened because people are leaving food out for them or are not removing scraps and packaging from beaches.
“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,” Reynolds said.
Last year, a coyote killed a puppy on a seashore beach, Reynolds said.