DNA tests confirm coyote captured in Chicago attacked boy

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A Chicago police officer and a Chicago Animal Care and Control worker carry a coyote out in a green bag after tranquilizing the animal behind a home on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. Authorities on the hunt for coyotes in downtown Chicago after two reported attacks, including one where passersby said they had to pull a wild canine off of a 6-year-old boy who was bitten in the head, captured one animal Thursday night on the city's North Side.(Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune via AP)

CHICAGO, Ill. – Animal control officials in Chicago said Sunday that DNA tests confirm a coyote recently captured in the city is the same animal that attacked a 6-year-old boy.

An evaluation determined that the animal was shot with a BB gun, “which could have caused the limp in its movements as well as the aggressive behavior,” according to the Chicago Animal Care and Control's statement. Officials said they worked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to evaluate the animal.

The animal was expected to remain at a local wildlife rehabilitation center.

It was captured this month after being chased by Chicago police and animal control officers for several blocks. The boy was bitten several times and hospitalized.

Animal control officials said another coyote was spotted in the same part of the city around the same time but it eluded capture. A second person, a man, has reported he was bitten by a coyote.

Still, experts say coyote attacks on humans have been extremely rare in the decades they have lived in the city and typically the animals are so afraid of people that their first instinct is to run away.