13-Year-Old & Dog Attacked by Coyote in South Mountain Reservation

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A 13-year-old girl and her dog were attacked by a coyote in South Mountain Reservation in Maplewood, NJ on Friday, June 30.

The attack took place at 3:03 p.m. The Essex County Sheriff’s office has confirmed that the girl was transported to Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center with puncture wounds to her leg.

The Sheriff’s office also confirms that the incident took place near the dog park, which is now closed to the public.

According to a post on the Essex County Executive’s Facebook page: “An aggressive coyote has been sited in Essex County South Mountain Reservation. With an abundance of caution, we are closing Crest Drive and the South Mountain Dog Park until tomorrow. We ask that anyone visiting the reservation be extremely cautious.”

CBS2 news is reporting that the coyote attacked the girl and then attacked her dog and that Essex County Sheriff’s officers have surrounded the dog park and are patrolling the woods to track down the coyote, and that the dog, a Shih Tzu, has been taken to a local animal hospital. CBS2 is reporting that another person may also have been attacked, but the Sheriff’s office has not confirmed that report at this time.

On Saturday, July 1, Maplewood Police sent multiple text alerts, first warning the public at 8:56 p.m. of a “possible coyote sighting in the area of Maplewood Ave / Jefferson Ave.” Residents were “encouraged to keep pets, small children inside.” The MPD later sent a message at 9:59 p.m. alerting the public to a “possible fox sighting in the area of Maplewood Ave / Jefferson Avenue” and likewise urged people to keep pets and small children inside.

Village Green will update this story as more information becomes available.

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