Warning: Disturbing images embedded in this post.
Animal control is hunting a coyote that bit two people in a Toronto park Tuesday afternoon, the city’s mayor said.
The men were in Leo Cole Park, near Yonge and Dundas streets, when they spotted a large animal in the park about 5 p.m., said John Tory, Toronto’s mayor. The animal bit the two people as they approached, with one of the men with serious injuries.
Tory said the coyote was about 4 feet long and 300 pounds.
“It was very dramatic, very unnerving, and of course they were extremely shaken,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, a city spokesperson confirmed the bite to The Washington Post.
“Two males were attacked and bitten by what appears to be a coyote in the Leo Cole Park near Dundas and Yonge,” said Christopher Shen, the mayor’s director of communications, in an email. “The attacks occurred around 5:00 pm.”
City police are also investigating, Shen said.
Toronto has been in the midst of fighting a war against invasive coyotes. The city is popular with the animals because they seek out access to garbage and rodents, though municipal animal control has since implemented a variety of programs to chase coyotes away from suburban neighborhoods.
Coyotes aren’t a rare sight in other parts of the United States. As recently as five years ago, the city of Atlanta led the country in sightings of coyotes, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
There are more than 3,000 coyotes living in the city, which is home to about 5.5 million people, according to National Geographic.
The city passed a zoning law that prohibited open fires and certain low-level gardening implements in 2010 to prevent the animals from raiding garbage cans, the Journal-Constitution reported.
In the city of Los Angeles, city health officials said they discovered a coyote near Hyde Park on Tuesday.
“We got the alert from our non-emergency phone,” said the park’s public information officer, Mark Sousa.
Because of the increasing risk posed by coyotes, the municipality of Los Angeles has introduced traps to catch and kill the animals, according to the Los Angeles Times.