SNOQUALMIE, Wash. – Families in a Washington state community have noticed an uptick in coyote sightings lately.
Within a 24-hour span, the city of Snoqualmie received seven reports of coyotes in the area—including an attack on a 3-year-old girl while she was on the porch, according to KCPQ.
The little girl’s father, Douglas Lucas, says it happened between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday. His daughter was on the front porch while he was hanging up Christmas lights.
Lucas saw the coyote in the street. Within seconds, it made its way to the porch, pounced on his daughter, Sophia, and bit her.
“The coyote came from behind, knocked Sophia [to the ground], she landed on her mouth, Douglas chases him off, ripped through her jacket and scratched her,” said Susan Chavez, the girl’s grandmother.
The attack left Sophia with visible scratches on her arm. Her favorite winter coat was shredded, but her family believes the coat saved her from a more serious injury. The little girl said the encounter was scary but remembers how “daddy saved my life.”
City officials said coyote sightings are on the rise.
“We’ve had about seven reports of coyote sightings in the last 24 hours, many more in the past week,” said Joan Pliego, the public information officer for the city of Snoqualmie.
"We do see bear regularly, cougar once in a while, coyote, foxes, that type of thing,” Pliego added, saying wildlife sightings at the Snoqualmie Ridge aren't necessarily new. Still, she said residents should report any coyote sightings.
Most of the recent reports have been in the early morning hours or dusk.
“The coyote, it’s not in its natural state, it’s sick or hurt, something’s wrong,” said Chavez, who added that she doesn’t believe the family could’ve done much to prevent the attack.