A girl has been left seriously injured after a coyote attacked her on a beach, police in California said.
Officers were called to the scene near Huntington Beach Pier at around 9.45pm on Thursday, according to police spokesperson Jennifer Carey.
They found the young girl with “serious but non-life-threatening injuries” before she was taken to hospital.
She was with two women and another small child sitting near the sea, when she wandered off “a mere few feet” and was attacked, the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Captain Patrick Foy said.
The animal came out of the dark and knocked the girl over in an attack that lasted 12 seconds, he added.
It then paced around her before her cries caused it to flee.
Two coyotes were shot by police following the incident and will be tested for rabies and matched with the victim’s DNA.
The animals are common across California, with around 10 to 12 attacks in the state per year, Captain Foy said.
They usually involve small children but adults have suffered some attacks, he added.