Date: August 13, 2021
Contact: Leslie Reynolds, 508-957-0700
WELLFLEET, Mass—On August 11, 2021 at approximately 8:30 pm, a coyote bit a 3-year-old female on North Herring Cove Beach within Cape Cod National Seashore. Park rangers responded to the incident. The child was taken to Cape Cod Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Park rangers identified, shot, and killed the coyote responsible for the bite. After the coyote was shot, it ran into thick dune vegetation and died. The body was located the following morning approximately 50 yards from where the park ranger had shot it. The coyote has tested negative for rabies.
This summer, rangers have been responding to incidents of coyotes acting assertively toward people in attempts to obtain food. This behavior starts with people feeding the coyotes intentionally by leaving food out, or inadvertently by not removing food scraps and packaging from the beach. This leads to the animals becoming habituated and bold in attempts to obtain food. When wild animals lose their fear of people, they behave unpredictably and aggressively, resulting in injuries to people and a sad ending for the habituated animal.
Keep wildlife wild. Protect your safety and the safety of others. Do not feed or attract wildlife! Report assertive coyote sightings to rangers or the dispatch center at 617-242-5659.