A coyote chased and attacked a child in Canada, resulting in several injuries, police said.
A 9-year-old boy and his 15-year-old sister were walking in a residential neighborhood in Winnipeg on the evening of June 24 when they spotted a coyote nearby, according to a news release from local police.
The pair began to flee the area, but the animal ran after them.
When it caught up to them, the coyote lunged at the boy, biting him, police said.
But at that moment, a teenage witness stepped in to help.
“I heard screaming and I ran out my door and I saw a 9-year-old boy was bit on the back of the head,” Logan Funk, a Winnipeg resident, told CTV News while recounting the incident.
Funk used a shovel to scare the animal off before tending to the injured boy, according to the outlet.
“The boy sustained multiple injuries and was transported to hospital in stable condition,” police said.
When contacted by McClatchy News, a spokesperson for the Winnipeg Police Service said they had no updates on the incident.
Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba and about 70 miles north of the border with Minnesota.
What to know about coyote attacks
Coyote attacks on humans are rare, according to a 2017 study published in the journal Human-Wildlife Interactions.
The study found that there were 367 documented coyote attacks in the United States and Canada between 1970 and 2015.
Coyotes mostly attacked adults in that time frame, and the attacks were more likely to occur during spring and summer, the animals’ “breeding and pup-rearing season,” according to the study.
While run-ins with the wild canines are relatively rare, they are becoming more frequent, according to a study published in the journal Scientific Reports in 2016.
“The remarkable increase in coyote attacks may be related to both the recent substantial expansion of the coyote range in eastern North America and increased conflicts in suburban residential areas,” the study found.
If confronted by a coyote, people are advised to make loud noises and appear large — such as by waving a piece of clothing in the air. Both recommendations are parts of a scare tactic referred to as hazing, police said.