Toddler mauled behind mum's back in shocking beach attack

A late-night stroll with her family almost turned deadly for one little girl who was attacked by a coyote on a Californian beach on Thursday.

Terrifying footage shows the toddler, believed to be just two or three years old, playing in the sand at Huntington Beach, in the US, when a coyote pounced on her in a brutal attack at around 9.45 pm (local time).

The little girl was thrown around by the animal for 12 seconds, Department of Fish and Wildlife Captain Patrick Foy revealed.

Meanwhile, her mum and sibling, as well as another woman they were with, stood by the water just metres away, seemingly unaware of the drama unfolding behind them.

Video footage people on beach girl attacked by coyote
The toddler was standing within metres of her mum when the coyote reportedly pounced on her in the 12-second beach attack. Source: Fox News 11

Luckily, the toddler survived the attack and was rushed to the hospital with serious, but non-life-threatening injuries, according to local reports.

A witness told FOX 11 News she had "blood all over her face," an obvious sign she'd been bitten by the animal. The attack prompted a thorough search for the coyote led by Orange County Animal Services and California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Officers reportedly shot and injured two coyotes — one who was spotted running on the beach and the other not far away from where the attack occurred. One was reportedly found dead the next morning.

Locals in the area said coyotes are often seen roaming the streets and the beach, and they show no signs of being afraid of humans.

While coyote attacks on humans in the state are typically rare, with reports of roughly 10 to 12 a year, they are known to seek out smaller prey.

One local told FOX 11 News she’s seen a coyote lurking around the children’s background on occasion.

Police reportedly confirmed there have been reports of numerous recent sightings.

"It’s really not afraid of us at all," one resident said.

A representative from the Department of Fish and Wildlife urged people not to feed coyotes, although it's believed that's not what prompted this particular attack.

The little girl is expected to make a full recovery in hospital.

Video footage shows people on beach attacked by a coyote
The little girl was thrown around the ground for 12 seconds before her cries alerted one of the women she was with. Source: Fox News 11

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.