Two people were hospitalized Monday in central North Carolina after being attacked by what is believed to be a coyote.
TV station WXII is reporting the victims were a father and daughter.
The Davie County Sheriff’s Office is warning people that the animal is still on the loose. It’s the second time this year that a coyote attack has been reported outside a Davie County home.
The sheriff’s office posted an animal attack advisory late Monday on Facebook, reporting the two victims were attacked about 3:15 p.m. Monday. The department believes the animal was a coyote, but has not yet confirmed it, says the post.
TV station WXII says the victims were a man and his 7-year-old daughter. The father told the station his daughter was playing alone on a swing set in the backyard when she was attacked, WXII reported.
"She started screaming," the girl's father, Fidel Castro Grande told TV station WFMY. "I ran immediately, broke the door down, got it off her and that's when it attacked me. I was wrestling it until I was able to get it off from me, and it had bitten off part of my face."
He nearly lost an eye in the attack, WFMY reported. Both father and daughter are undergoing rabies treatment, WFMY reported.
The attack occurred inside the town limits of Mocksville, at 273 East Depot Street, deputies said.
Coyotes roam every one of North Carolina’s counties and have become both a nuisance and a danger. The animals have been blamed for killing and injuring pets in the Charlotte region.
In February, a coyote threatened a Huntersville family near Charlotte, and it was later confirmed to be rabid. The family stayed safely in their vehicle and called 911 as the coyote chewed on their car's bumper.
John Schroter’s family posted a video of the incident that showed the coyote pacing along a fence near their home and snarling.
Davie County is along the Interstate 40 route, between Statesville and Winston-Salem. In March, another girl was attacked by a coyote in Davie County, near the community of Advance.
Investigators said the girl was followed by the coyote as she walked to the door of her home and attacked as she tried to enter. Her mother was able to stop the attack, but the child suffered minor injuries, said officials.