Coyote that attacked Huntington Beach 2-year-old is dead, DNA confirms

Aerial photo of pier and shoreline of Huntington Beach
A girl was attacked by a coyote north of the Huntington Beach Pier last week.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

DNA from a coyote that bit a girl in Huntington Beach last week matched samples from one of two coyotes shot and killed following the attack, authorities said Monday.

The 2-year-old girl was hospitalized with bites to her head and face that were not considered life-threatening after she was attacked near the Huntington Beach Pier last Thursday night.

Huntington Beach police responded and shot two coyotes near the attack site, Huntington Beach Police Lt. Shawn Randell said.


Samples taken from the girl’s wounds were used to confirm that the animal that bit her was one of the pair that were killed, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy said.

The girl was with her mother on the sand when she wandered “a mere few feet” and was attacked, Foy said last week.

The coyote came out of the dark, hit and knocked over the girl and attacked her for 12 seconds before her cries alerted adults and the animal ran off, Foy said.

Scott Johnson was a 27-year-old mathematician studying in Australia when Scott White killed him at a clifftop spot known as a gay meeting place.

May 3, 2022

However, it stayed around, pacing, before finally fleeing, Foy said.

The family did nothing to antagonize the coyote, he added.

Last year, the Department of Fish and Wildlife began workshops to help communities deal with coyotes because of an increase in the number of confrontations with people.

Foy said coyotes usually are shy and try to avoid humans. He estimated that there are only about 10 to 12 attacks per year around California, mostly involving smaller children, but adults were attacked in a few cases.