An Israeli man living in the United States went through moments of fear on Friday, as a coyote grabbed his 2-year-old daughter outside their home in Los Angeles and tried to drag her away.
Ariel Eliyahuo, who heard the girl’s screams, was able to pull the toddler from the animal’s jaws and chase it away. The girl suffered scratches that required medical treatment.
The couple told the KTLA5 news site they had just arrived home and were unpacking the car, which was parked in front of the home.
“I heard her screaming and crying and I thought she fell down and I saw the coyote was there,” Ariel told NBC4.
He rushed over and, yelling curses in Hebrew, pulled her away, but the coyote remained unfazed, lingering near their front lawn.
Video footage from the couples’ doorbell camera captured the attack and the rescue in the city’s Woodland Hills neighborhood.
COYOTE ATTACK: A frightening wildlife encounter in Woodland Hills! A coyote attacked a little girl and her dad came to her rescue seconds after it happened. pic.twitter.com/nt8GLXM4pu
— Irene Cruz (@ABC7Irene) December 3, 2022
As the father leans into the vehicle, the daughter can be seen on the other side of the car. In the background, a small coyote walks into view, passes behind the car, and then grabs the girl, pulling her off her feet.
Ariel can then be seen in the footage picking up a water bottle and hurling it at the animal, which finally runs away.
Handing his still screaming daughter to his wife, Shira, Ariel grabbed a plank of wood and headed out again to look, in vain, for the coyote.
“She has a lot of scratches on her left leg and one of them is really deep,” Shira told KTLA5 about her daughter’s injuries. “We had to go to the ER. We had to get her rabies shots. The coyote just kind of dragged her so her face is also a little bit bruised.”
The couple has lived in the area for three years.
“There are a lot of coyotes here we see but they usually run away,” Shira told NBC. She said her daughter is still too scared to go outside.
On Saturday, officials took the girl’s bloody clothes to begin a process of making DNA matches and then trapping the coyote, the network reported.
According to the network, there have been at least two other coyote attacks on 2-year-old girls in the area over the past year, with officials euthanizing one coyote that attacked a toddler in the summer, and another shot dead after it also had tried to grab a girl.
As KTLA5 was reporting from the scene, a coyote again showed up outside the Eliyahuos’ home. The Los Angeles Times reported it is believed to be the same animal that carried out the attack on their daughter.