A mother and her 4-year-old son were attacked by a coyote while they were strolling through a New Jersey park Thursday evening.

Onlookers noticed the coyote following the 37-year-old woman, who was pushing her child in a stroller through a Fairfield Park, but when they tried to alert the mom, the coyote lunged at her, WNBC reported.

“When she turned around basically the coyote lunged at her, bit her in the leg,” said Fairfield Police Chief Anthony Manna, according to WABC. “At that time the stroller turned over. The coyote went after the child and bit him in his leg.

“As other people were in the park they started to run to assist her. The coyote backed off. The woman was able to right the stroller and tried to flee, again the coyote lunged. He did not get her that time and ran into the woods.”

A search for the animal ensued and authorities soon came across a coyote which they suspected was the one that attacked the mother and child. The coyote appeared aggressive and police had no choice but to kill it.

“All of a sudden the coyote turned around and started coming right at me, unfortunately I had to use force to put the animal down,” said Sergeant Frank Tracey.

Residents told police they had spotted a coyote, which had attacked a neighbor’s Doberman Pinscher, on Wednesday night although it is not clear whether it was the same animal that bit the mother.

The Humane Society will conduct tests to establish whether or not the coyote had rabies.

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