Authorities in Arlington, Massachusetts, are on the search for a coyote that attacked two toddlers in their yards in separate incidents Sunday.
Officials said the first attack took place in Epping Street around 5.40 p.m. Sunday when the animal bit a 2-year-old child on her back, and then dragged her for a bit. About 10 minutes later, the coyote attacked another 2-year-old in her yard in Summer Hill Circle, which was less than half a mile away from the place of first attack. The victims were rushed to a hospital for treatment and were said to be stable, Boston.com reported.
Speaking to NBC Boston, several people residing in Arlington expressed shock and concerns over the incidents.
"I really never imagined that the coyote would attack a kid, that's, that's horrible," local resident Haiariang Huang said.
Shawn Deshane, one of the victim's neighbors, said, "We heard a kid just screaming bloody murder like, at first it sounded like kids playing and we could hear it was just very loud, I mean a kid just screaming."
Another neighbor named Donna, who witnessed the Summer Hill attack, told the outlet, "She's got a scratch on her little thigh, she wanted to show me her boo boo, but she's doing fine. The parents were outside, too, right out in front, and heard the screech, of the little one, and that's when they saw the coyote."
Arlington police and health and human services officials said in a statement they believe the same coyote was behind both the attacks and search was on for the animal.
A 5-year-old boy was also recently attacked by a coyote less than a mile away from Summer Hill. Officials believe the same coyote may have been responsible for that attack too.
"It would be odd to have multiple coyotes behaving the same way in the same neighborhood, so there may be a food source, somebody might be feeding it and not knowing," Mike Huguenin, assistant director for the Wildlife Research Program at MassWildlife, told NBC Boston.
Officials believe the animal is not rabid, but more likely habituated to humans in the area. Anyone who sees a coyote in the area is requested to call 781-643-1212.