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California in Brief | LAKE ARROWHEAD

Slain coyote tied to attack on child

June 03, 2008|David Kelly

DNA from a coyote that was shot and killed has confirmed that it was the animal that attacked and tried to carry away a toddler last month, officials said Monday.

The coyote was one of three shot by state Department of Fish and Game warden Brady Hill on May 8, two days after it grabbed the 18-month-old girl as she stood in the frontyard of her home. The girl's mother scared off the animal after it grabbed the child by the head. The child was treated for puncture wounds to the head and neck and released.

Agency officials collected DNA samples from the coyote, which was killed three blocks from the site of the attack.

"By matching the DNA from the coyote carcass with the DNA found in the coyote saliva on the victim's clothing, we and our collaborating lab at UCLA were able to confirm the DNA match," said Jeff Rodzen, senior wildlife forensic specialist with the fish and game agency's wildlife forensic laboratory.

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-- David Kelly

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