It's the second time in three years that a coyote has menaced a child in the San Francisco Botanical Garden, and this time the animal bit the child. Wildlife officials responded according to policy and euthanized three animals.

The incident happened Friday during a supervised summer camp session. As the Chronicle reports, a five-year-old girl was playing in some part of the San Francisco Botanical Garden around 11:15 am when a coyote came up behind her and bit her.

Her mother, Helen Sparrow, describes it to the Chronicle as, "She started to run, she tripped and it bit her on the bum when she was down."

The young girl was treated for her wound, and taken to the hospital to have it stitched — and a rabies vaccine was recommended, though doctors say coyotes rarely test positive for rabies.

Officials with SF Animal Care and Control and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife reportedly swabbed the area of the girl's wound in an attempt to collect DNA as well, hoping to identify the offending animal.

As a result of the incident, the SF Botanical Garden was closed to visitors all weekend, but it reopened on Monday morning.

The Chronicle later added to its report, confirming that Fish and Wildlife officials shot and killed two coyotes in the Botanical Garden on Saturday, and a third on Sunday, hoping that one of these is the one that bit the girl. Rabies and DNA testing will now occur on all three, and if there is no match with the DNA collected from the bite wound, further action will likely be taken in Golden Gate Park.

Patrick Foy, a captain in theDepartment of Fish and Wildlife's law enforcement division, told the Chronicle Monday, "If a coyote or bear or mountain lion attacks a person, those animals are euthanized."

It's not clear if the area in the Botanical Garden where the incident occurred has some notifications around it, or if it remains open. Spring is coyote pupping season, and it's a time when coyotes become aggressively protective of their dens — making them dangerous to small dogs especially.

But this is also not the first time that a coyote, in this same time of year, has become aggressive with a child in the Botanical Garden.

Something similar happened with a different coyote in late June 2021, and that coyote repeatedly emerged from some woods and appeared to stalk several small children who were there with their mothers.

One of those mothers was Monique Pflager, who works as a wildlife rehabilitator with the Coyote Project in the Marin Headlands. As she told SFGate at the time, "I’ve never seen such a healthy coyote that wants to go after healthy kids."

The mothers who witnessed that coyote's unusual behavior said they believed the coyote would have bitten child if it had the chance. That animal was ultimately euthanized about two weeks after that story came out.

Now we have another coyote behaving in a similar manner, and succeeding in biting in a child, in the very same part of the Golden Gate Park. It seems that some part or parts of the 55-acre Botanical Garden are desirable to coyotes as denning areas.

Previously: Coyote That Charged Toddlers In Golden Gate Park Was Euthanized

Photo: Lance Anderson

This post has been updated throughout following news of the euthanizing of three coyotes.