The Arizona Game and Fish Department is urging residents of Scottsdale to be on the lookout for a large coyote that injured two toddlers in the neighborhood. The first child was injured on Saturday, near Aztec Park, and three days later the second was injured at a residence about two miles from the park. This information was shared by the department on Facebook.
One of the parents, Kelly Pirozzi, said that she was standing in her driveway on Wednesday when the coyote approached and bit her 21-month-old son on the arm. The shocking moment was captured on her surveillance camera. Neither child has been identified, but the department mentioned that they were treated for minor injuries and then released.
The department urged everyone to be alert and anyone who sees a coyote in the area of 94th Street and Thompson Peak Parkway along the Central Arizona Project Canal should report the sighting immediately. The coyote knocked the toddler down, and once the boy started crying, the animal released his arm from its grip.
The department noted that the coyote “shows little fear of people” and said that it “may have been illegally fed in the past.” According to Darren Julian, an urban wildlife specialist with Arizona Game and Fish, another toddler was on a playground near an elementary school on Saturday when he was attacked by a coyote. Coyotes are dog-like animals that typically weigh between 15 and 46 pounds. They are found in a variety of environments, mostly open areas like prairies and deserts.
Julian claimed that coyote attacks are rare. He also said that this week’s incidents were the first in the Phoenix area since 2017.