Amanda Dycke said she knew something bad had happened to her son when she heard the toddler scream on Tuesday.
She ran outside to find her three-year-old lying in the road, being attacked by a coyote.
“I saw the coyote on his head, chewing on his head,” she said.
Dycke’s son, Ayden Ramm, needed 148 stitches after the attack outside the family backyard in Burnaby, B.C.
It was the first of two coyote attacks in Metro Vancouver within 24 hours this week.
‘I scooped up my son and started running’
Ayden had been playing outside in the sun with his dad, Chris Ramm, when he walked out the back gate in the area of Kitchener Street and Duthie Avenue, near Burnaby Mountain.
Dycke said the coyote was on him within seconds.
She said she charged the animal “full speed,” scaring it off just enough for her to grab the toddler.
“I scooped up my son and started running,” Dycke said.
“He was just covered in head to toe in blood … He couldn’t blink. It looked like he was crying blood.”
Dycke called 911 and an ambulance took Ayden to B.C. Children’s Hospital.
She said the coyote paced around their backyard while she was on the phone, even though a crowd of neighbours had gathered.
“Its mouth was dripping in my son’s blood,” Dycke said.
Ayden had gashes on his head and neck, puncture wounds and scratches all over his body.
Dycke said a plastic surgeon was called to stitch his wounds to minimize scarring.
The toddler was recovering at home Wednesday, on a heavy dose of antibiotics to prevent infection.
Coyote came when called
On Tuesday night, the B.C. Conservation Service tracked down and killed a coyote matching the description of the one that attacked Ayden.
Officials said the animal showed no signs of fear.
“In fact, the conservation officer was able to whistle to him, and it came,” spokesperson Alicia Stark said.
Officials are running DNA tests to confirm it was the same animal that attacked the toddler.
Stark said Ayden’s injuries are unusually serious for a coyote attack.
“Coyote attacks are very rare in this area … when we do see them they are minor, maybe a scratch or a small bite.”
Dycke said the neighbourhood is shaken by what happened to her son.
“It’s nice, it’s sunny and people won’t let their kids out. We’re all terrified.”
Separate attack the next day
On Wednesday, a dog walker fought off another coyote as it attacked a dog in North Vancouver.
Lorrie Cole said dog walker Denise Baker-Grant was about to let her pets off leash on the Baden-Powell Trail by Grouse Mountain when she heard yelling.
Baker-Grant ran to see another woman’s shih-tzu being attacked by a coyote.
In a Facebook post, Cole said Baker-Grant had to attack the animal to save the pet dog.
“She punched it hard in the face. It let go, but lunged again, so she kicked it hard and it finally left,” Cole’s post read.
When reached by phone on Wednesday, Baker-Grant declined to be interviewed because she was “a little sore,” but she confirmed what Cole described in her post.
What to do when you see a coyote
If you see a coyote, conservation officers advise you to:
- Make yourself look large and back away slowly.
- Stay with your children.
- Keep dogs on a leash.
- Not approach the coyote and get into a vehicle or back in your house.