DAVIE COUNTY, N.C. — Coyotes are a common sight in the Carolinas, but attacks on people are extremely rare.
According to the Wildlife Resources Commission, no attacks had ever been recorded up until nine weeks ago when nine-year-old Madilyn Fowler was attacked outside of her home in Davie County.
“There isn’t a city in North Carolina where you won’t find a coyote if you look for it,” said Lt. Robert DeWitt with the Davie County Sheriff’s Office.
This past Saturday, seven-year-old Cindy was swinging in her backyard, some 10 miles from where Madilyn was attacked, when a coyote went after her legs.
Fidel Grande heard his daughter screaming and ran out to fend off the ferocious coyote. He described the encounter to NBC Charlotte.
“My little girl was playing over there on the swing, and the coyote tried to bite her. I heard her scream and ran out of the house but because the door locked, I had to break the screen,” he said.
After sprinting to Cindy’s side, he was able to fight the animal away, but not before the coyote sunk its teeth into Fidel’s face.
A father fends off a coyote that attacked his daughter.It’s the 2nd coyote attack on a human within a 10 mile span.Why Animal Control officials say coyotes will continue to go after people — tonight on @WCNC pic.twitter.com/pzBbDOiSDY
— Evan West (@TV_Evan) May 22, 2018
“She’s got a couple of bites on her leg; I let the coyote jump on me,” said Fidel, who said the adrenaline took over. “I forgot I had a machete; it happened so fast.”
The father and daughter duo will be alright after more rounds of rabies shots. As for the attack itself, Lt. DeWitt said people should be more vigilant.
“The truth is, it’s probably going to be an increasing happening event,” he said.
Lt. DeWitt said animals that contract rabies only live five days or so after they get the disease, and he does not believe the two incidents are related. He also said the coyote in question is still alive to his knowledge.