Officials searching for coyote after several sightings, boy bitten in Lincoln Park

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CHICAGO — Animal Care and Control is on the hunt for a coyote who attacked a child in Lincoln Park, and now a second attack is under investigation.

Around 4 p.m. Wednesday, a 6-year-old boy was attacked and bitten on the side of his head outside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Lincoln Park.

Two sophomores at DePaul University said they were out for a run Wednesday when they heard screaming.

“Once I got across the street, I could see the kid was bleeding from his head, got down to his face, all over his jacket,” Ryan Taylor said.

The DePaul students said it looked like he was hurt really bad, and said the boy was crying.

The child was with his caretaker when he was attacked. The students said they helped the boy to safety on a CTA bus and then called 911. He was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital and was stabilized.

Kelley Gandurski, of Animal Care and Control, said in regard to Wednesday’s attack, that there was no evidence that the child attempted to feed the coyote.

“The caretaker was being very vigilant with the child,” she said. “The child had no food on him and was only reported to be wearing a coat.”

The child was in good spirits and recovering as of Thursday.

Hours later, police said a 32-year-old man was walking in the Gold Coast when a coyote attacked him from behind. Animal Control said they have not been able to confirm he was bitten by a coyote.

Police said the man walked into the Northwestern Memorial Hospital emergency room around midnight. He is in good condition and expected to be treated and released.

Hours later around 2 a.m. Thursday, WGN photographer John Loboda spotted a coyote  roaming around the Northwestern Hospital campus near the area where the man was attacked.

Loboda said the coyote appeared to be aggressive, and was limping.

There have been at least five coyote sightings over the past three days.

On Tuesday, another WGN photographer spotted a coyote rambling around the Gold Coast, just off Lake Shore Drive. That same day, another coyote was rescued from Lake Michigan at Monroe Harbor.

Experts said it’s very unusual for a coyote to approach, much less attack, a person.

“They prey upon small rodents such as rats and rodents. Generally they do not want any contact with people,” Gandurski said.

Lincoln Park High School was on soft lockdown Thursday morning. Students were not allowed to move between buildings after a security guard spotted a coyote on a hill.

Animal Care and Control wants to remind Chicagoans who encounter a coyote to let them handle it and let them know by calling 311.

Anyone who sees a coyote is supposed to do what you do if you see a bear — it’s called hazing. You’re supposed to make loud noises, yell at them and make yourself appear large.

Coyotes are protected under state law, so those who see them are asked not to hurt them and to instead call 311.

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