Toronto Police have issued a public safety alert after an alarming incident was reported last week. Police say that an 8-year-old boy was “attacked by what he believed to be a coyote.” The alleged Toronto coyote attack left the boy with bites on his elbow and leg.
The incident occurred last Wednesday, June 19th, in East York’s Thorncliffe Park area. “The animal was reported to be salivating, foaming at the mouth during the incident and as a precaution the boy was treated with the rabies vaccination but does not exhibit signs of rabies on his own,” police stated in their public safety alert.
Police also claim that there have been no cases of rabies in Toronto. This incident is one of several reports of coyote attacks involving children in Canada recently. Just last year, the city of Montreal launched a “scare campaign” to keep coyotes out of public territory. This was in response to two coyote attacks on young children – a three-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy – in Montreal.
If a person is bitten or scratched by an animal, such as a coyote, police urge them to call 911 right away. Toronto Public Health says that the wound should be immediately washed with soap and water for 15 minutes, then treated with antiseptic.
After consulting a healthcare provider, TPH says that you should report the animal bite or scratch online. This will allow Public Health to monitor and keep track of animals who may pose a danger to the public.
The City of Toronto says that a coyote information session will be held on July 9th at the Scarborough Civic Centre. Guest speakers will discuss how the public can safely co-exist with coyotes. Though, the city does emphasize that coyotes “generally do not pose a danger to people, but can pose a danger for pets.”
For more information on coyotes and their behaviours, go to the City of Toronto’s website.