2-year-old girl in ‘good spirits’ after coyote attack at O.C. cemetery

The mother of a 2-year-old girl who was attacked by a coyote Thursday at a cemetery said her daughter is back in “good spirits” and has started walking again on her wounded leg, according to published reports.

A coyote attacked the child about 3:15 p.m. Thursday at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Cypress, biting her twice, said Mark Michilizzi, a warden with the California Fish and Wildlife Department.

Officers who arrived at the scene learned that other people in the area had sighted coyotes recently, Michilizzi said.

The mother, Michelle Luper, was visiting her grandmother’s grave with her family when the coyote bit her daughter, according to the Orange County Register.

She told the newspaper that her child was playing about 10 feet away.


After the attack, the girl received treatment for rabies and was given antibiotics, Michilizzi said.

Three coyotes in the area were killed by department officials Thursday night, and the department said it intends to follow up on the case.

Michilizzi dubbed the incident “most definitely a public safety issue.”

Forest Lawn Cemetery management has added coyote traps around the park, but away from the public, said Ben Sussman, vice president of community relations and media management for the cemetery.

Signs warning visitors to beware of coyotes have also been posted on the property, he said.

“We deeply regret that it occurred and hope for a speedy recovery for the child,” Sussman said.


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