CHICAGO

Emeil Hawkins, 3-Year-Old Chicago Boy, Attacked By Coyote After Mistaking It For Dog (VIDEO)

11/15/2013 03:18 pm ET

A 3-year-old boy is recovering after he was bit in the face by a coyote roaming in a city park on Chicago's West Side.

Family says Emeil Hawkins was bit Oct. 27 near Columbus Park after he and his mother mistook the animal for a German Shepherd. Thinking the coyote was a dog, Emeil tried to feed it before the animal bit him in the face, WGN reports.

"You can see how close it is to the neck, to the eye, to the mouth, to the nose," said Bryce Kyle, the boyfriend of Emeil's mother, describing the wounds. "It could have been a lot worse, but at the same time it was tragic. It's been horrible."

Kyle told ABC Chicago in addition to the coyote that bit Emeil, there were "several animals a little further down the alley."

Cook County Animal Control officials later reported four coyotes were captured in Columbus Park following the incident. The animals tested negative for rabies and were euthanized, department spokesman Frank Shuftan told CBS Chicago.

Emeil also tested negative for rabies following the attack. Cornell University Professor Paul Curtis, a leading coyote researcher, said coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare and that they usually only attack if they have rabies or are "very hungry."

Coyote sightings in and around the Chicago area have been on the rise in recent years.

Last November, a pair of skinny coyotes was seen roaming near Wrigley Field in the city's Lakeview neighborhood.

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