Officials say feeding a wild animal in a Texas neighborhood may have led to an attack that left a young child in critical condition.

A Dallas toddler was mauled by a coyote Tuesday on the front porch of his home north of White Rock Lake, according to KSAT. A police officer saw the coyote in a park near the child’s home and opened fire. Officials don't know if the coyote was wounded, but an active search with a game warden has begun.

Where is the Coyote Now?

Several neighbors said they've spotted the coyote in recent weeks and reported it to the city. KXAS-TV reported that Dallas Police tracked the animal into a wooded area, but it has not been caught. Police are warning area residents not to approach the animal if they see it, as the coyote is considered extremely dangerous.

In a press release, Dallas Animal Services said it is critical that wildlife be left alone. Apparently, the coyote lost its natural fear of humans after residents routinely hand-fed and touched the animal, giving it the confidence to carry out the attack.

Coyotes are generally reclusive animals who prefer to avoid human contact. Coyotes are wild animals and should be regarded as such. Citizens should never approach, interact with or feed wild animals.

-Dallas Animal Services

What to Do if You See a Coyote

If you have coyotes near your property, it’s usually because they can find easily accessible food out of garbage cans or dumpsters. Here are some ways to discourage coyotes and other wildlife:

  • Clear any pet food, berries, fallen fruit, or other sources of food out of your yard
  • Keep your garbage covered or inside a garage or storage
  • Get a fence with buried wire aprons to make your yard less accessible


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