Coyote bites 7-year-old girl in Southwest Portland; girl nearby also attacked

Stock Photo: USMC/MGN

Multnomah County Animal Services said a coyote bit a 7-year-old girl in Southwest Portland on Tuesday. Jay LeVitre, an agency spokesman, also said a coyote leapt on an 8-year-old girl in the area a couple of weeks ago.

LeVitre told KATU the 7-year-old was bit outside a home on the 3700 block of Scholls Ferry Road. He said the girl just got off a bus and was walking to her house in a wooded area when the coyote approached her, jumped on her and bit her leg.

She was taken to the hospital and treated for rabies, which LeVitre said is protocol whether she was infected or not.

Nearby at a home on Southwest Raleighwood Court, LeVitre said investigators discovered a neighbor, Corey Shelton, reported a coyote jumping on his daughter on Oct. 19. The girl told KATU she was playing after school when the animal leapt onto her back, scratching her but not biting her. She said the scratches did not draw blood and that the coyote appeared to be young. It ran off after she stood up, she said.

Michelle Dennehy, an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson, told KATU her agency is now investigating the incidents.

She couldn’t speak to the cases specifically but said in general coyote attacks are extremely rare.

"With any animal, and coyotes are no exception, we see more problems when, for example, they’re being fed and they become habituated to an area," she explained.

Dennehy recommended people in the area keep their pets and small children under close supervision, especially at night.

“Some big things are feed your pets indoors and don’t leave pet food or water bowls outside," she said. "You want to supervise pets, keep ‘em leashed if they’re outside.”

Dennehy said the only other recorded coyote attack in Oregon that she knew of was in Nehalem Bay State Park in 2012.

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