Moment hero dad saves daughter, 2, from vicious coyote trying to eat her

A two-year-old girl was moments away from being dragged away by a coyote, before her heroic dad stepped in to save the day.

Video cameras of the Los Angeles-based family home captured the shocking events of the toddler being pulled across the family's front lawn before the animal was scared away.

The child’s father, Ariel Eliyahuo, was parking his car in front of the house after picking up his daughter from school when the opportunistic animal jumped towards the child, knocking her off her feet.

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Ariel recalled the horror of seeing his daughter in the animal's grasp: “I heard the screams and the crying, and I thought she had fallen. Then I saw the coyote there.”

The animal proceeded to bite the toddler several times before dragging her across the pavement.

Spotting the alarming scene, Ariel quickly ran to his daughter’s rescue and freed her from the animal's grasp and hurled a bottle of water at it.

The coyote quickly backed off and eventually fled the scene.

The toddler was rushed to the hospital after sustaining a deep gash to her leg, the girl’s mother, Shira Eliyahuo told KTLA.

“I saw her pants covered in blood. So I took them off and exposed all the scratches on her legs,” Shira said.

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The little girl received a rabies shot and is currently recovering at home.

A search for the coyote is currently underway by the California Wildlife Information Department, said officials, who hope to match the animal with DNA left behind with the bite on the toddler.

Coyotes are rarely known to attack full-grown adults due to their small size. Most attacks involve children under the age of five – though they are still exceedingly rare.

While attacks almost never prove fatal, in this case, due to the toddler's size and age, Ariel's actions likely saved his daughter's life.

The Eliyahuo's told KTLA that they want to prevent an attack like this from affecting another child in the future, and said they hope the city will take further intervention by trapping and removing the coyotes from their community.

Coyote activity in the area is particularly rife, with seven coyote attacks this year alone – all involving pets or children.

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