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Authorities kill coyote after girl bitten at Scottsdale park

(Paul Carter /The Register-Guard via AP, File)

PHOENIX — Authorities were forced to kill a coyote on Tuesday after it bit a little girl at a Scottsdale park, the Arizona Department of Game and Fish said.

“We had to kill a coyote,” Game and Fish spokeswoman Amy Burnett said. “It had to be lethally removed. That’s our policy.”

Burnett said the little girl was sitting on a slide at Thompson Peak Park near Hayden Road and Thompson Peak Parkway when she was bit. The girl was eating a granola bar and Burnett said the animal had become used to humans giving it food.

“If someone hadn’t been feeding it, this most likely wouldn’t have happened,” she said.

After biting the girl, the coyote chased her and family members until they were able to get into their car.

Burnett said feeding an animal can be tempting, but it can have negative consequences — for both the animal and people.

“Feeding wild animals changes their behavior,” she said. “They’re no longer wild and they become habituated and they become dangerous.”

Burnett said the little girl received rabies shots.

“As a precaution — anyone who has a bite from a wild mammal — they do undergo rabies shots,” she said.

However, officials are unsure the correct coyote was killed. They are continuing to search the area.

KTAR’s Tom Perumean and the Associated Press contributed to this report.