After 5-year-old Christine came running inside with what her mom calls a "wild story" about being chased by a coyote, the Chicago-area girl's parents checked surveillance video and discovered that she had survived a terrifying close call, ABC News reports. Video of the encounter shows Christine, who had gone to the mailbox outside the family's Villa Park home to see if her Halloween costume had arrived, playing near a swing when the roaming coyote noticed her. It runs at her, chases her around the swing, and almost catches her before she can run back to the house. It came so close, she tells WLS, that "I feeled its ear. It almost bited my rib."
The little girl was shaken by the encounter but not harmed, her mother says. "He really pursued her violently," the mother says. "I'm so glad she got away." She says that for now, Christine's days of playing unaccompanied in the front yard are over. Neighbors believe coyotes are living in a nearby wooded area. The town says it has contacted the DuPage County Forest Preserve and the Illinois Conservation Police for help, NBC reports. "A bold coyote does not necessarily mean an aggressive coyote, but a coyote that maintains its fear of humans will be less likely to cause problems," the forest preserve says. (Meanwhile, in California, coyotes have apparently been eating hallucinogenic mushrooms.)