Officers kill 3 coyotes at San Francisco Botanical Garden after attack on 5-year-old girl

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Wildlife officers shot and killed three coyotes at the San Francisco Botanical Garden over the weekend after a coyote attacked a 5-year-old girl, authorities said Monday.

Two coyotes were shot on Saturday and one was shot on Sunday, said Patrick Foy, a spokesperson for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

A coyote bit the 5-year-old on Friday while the girl was playing during a supervised summer camp visit at the garden within Golden Gate Park. The girl was treated for the bite wound at a hospital, her mother, Helen Sparrow, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

“If a coyote or bear or mountain lion attacks a person, those animals are euthanized, and we conduct a rabies test on them post-mortem and take DNA samples,” Foy said Monday morning.

Officers were able to retrieve a DNA sample from the girl’s wound. Scientists on Monday were attempting to use that sample to identify which coyote attacked her. If none of the samples match, agents may need to trap or kill other coyotes in the park, Foy said.

The garden reopened Monday after being closed following the attack.

Sparrow told the Chronicle that her daughter had begun to run but tripped and the coyote “bit her on the bum when she was down.”

Doctors stitched up the bite wound and administered a rabies vaccine, though they told Sparrow that coyotes rarely test positive for rabies, the Chronicle reported.