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(NECN: Lauren Collins – Haverhill, Mass.) - There’s a large hole in the rear of Alex Cazmay's leggings, torn out by a coyote Monday morning. The nine-year-old was defenseless as the animal snuck up from behind.
“I was riding my scooter over there and I turned around and the coyote was right next to Alex,” said her best friend Kelly Igoe who was in her driveway.
“It bit me in the butt, then it bit me in the arm and then it bit me (on the hand) and then I had the sense to run inside,” Alex recalled with a half-laugh.
She thought at first it was a dog, but soon realized it was a coyote. Her friend’s mother, Kathleen Igoe, couldn’t believe it.
“She was crying and upset and it could have been a lot worse,” she said. “We're thankful that it wasn't.”
Bruised and swollen, Alex was taken to a local hospital for a tetanus shot and the first of four rounds of rabies vaccine. She said the shots hurt more than the bites.
“She was a little timid when she first came home from the hospital around even her down dog, but even that's better,” said mom Brianne Cazmay whose nerves have finally settled.
It's unclear what provoked the coyote, similar to the one seen here, to attack though it's rare for the animals to go after humans. Nobody recalls spotting one in the neighborhood in recent memory, though police say sightings in the area are on the rise.
For Mrs. Cazmay, who grew up in the city, the encounter is an important reminder to be aware of what's in the wild.
“Even if it's a stray dog, to not go up to it and remind (your kids) to just try to get away from them as quick as possible because you're not going to win against a wild animal.”