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Two coyotes attacked a 6-year-old girl as she played in her front yard Friday night, police said. The coyotes singled out the girl for the attack ˜ likely because of her small size ˜ as she and other girls played in the yard with the victim’s mother close by, police said. The coyotes ran at her, tackled her to the ground and began biting her. The girl suffered bite wounds to her shoulder and right thigh and scratches to her her head, neck, and back. She also might have been bitten on her ear, Rye Police Commissioner William Connors said. She was treated at Greenwich Hospital and released Friday night.

_”Her injuries are not life-threatening but she sustained a number of significant bite wounds and lacerations,” Connors said. Other girls alerted the victim’s mother to the attack and she scared off the animals, he said. None of the other girls were attacked, he said. Police did not release the name or address of the victim because of her age, Connors said. Shortly after the attack, a police officer spotted a coyote near the Rye Golf Course just a couple of blocks away. He fired a shot at the animal but did not strike it, Connors said. Afterwards, police scoured the golf course. A Westchester County police helicopter was brought in to use infrared heat detection and shine light down on the course. Firefighters accompanied police in golf carts with thermal imaging equipment. But no coyotes were found.

Police are operating under the assumption that the coyotes are rabid because attacks on humans are so rare, Connors said. He did not know if the girl was treated for possible rabies exposure. Coyotes are usually afraid of people and will flee when humans make loud noises or throw objects at them, Connors said. “In light of this incident, however, we urge residents to pay particular attention to small children and to supervise them closely when they are outdoors,” he said._