The family of a 9-year-old boy who was mauled by a coyote near the outskirts of Winnipeg is grateful for the overwhelming support of their community and neighbours.

Just before 7 p.m. on Saturday, Winnipeg Police say a 15-year-old girl and her 9-year-old brother were walking in the Popko Crescent and Knowles Avenue area when they noticed a coyote running towards them.

"They waited for it to move past them, but it stared them down and then lunged for them," their mother explained.

Their neighbour, Logan, quickly jumped into action, scaring the coyote away with a shovel. Logan's mother grabbed towels to tend to the wounds. An emergency room doctor, who happened to be home at the time, also came to the scene to provide care while awaiting the ambulance, and a family friend who is in the medical field rode with the young boy to the hospital.

"Everyone came together so quickly to help," said the boy's mom. "We live in a place where everyone kinda knows everyone. Even if not well, it's enough. It's been a neighbourhood where we are always looking out for each other. It's everything you would want in a situation like this. We are just so very thankful that even though the incident was horrific, it happened where it happened with the best circumstances around it."

The incident left the boy with 24 stitches/staples in the back of his head and severe puncture wounds on his legs.

"Every professional that we encountered through this ordeal was amazing. The EMTs were great, keeping him calm and distracted. The police officers talked to my daughters and got them settled at home before coming to the hospital to check on our son. The doctors and nurses we encountered were also very kind and compassionate," said the family. " Our issue with our time at Children’s Hospital is in no way a reflection of the staff. We want to make that very clear. Our problems come from the long wait times and the overall run-downness of the building itself. "

After the boy arrived at the hospital, the family says he waited over three hours before someone came to check on him.

"A nurse came by around 10:30 p.m. to say she was taking over for our last nurse, who I had never even seen." said the boy's mother.

An intern showed up to take pictures and look at the wounds. Next, they waited on a surgery consult, and eventually, according to the family, the medical professionals decided that the emergency room would have to deal with and suture the wounds.

"This took choreographing because there are only two emergency room doctors on staff, and if our son was to be put under sedation, both need to be present. It was impossible to manage. We opted to keep him awake with freezing to get it attended to quicker. He got his procedure around 1:21 a.m. We were discharged at around 4 a.m."

The boy is now home recovering from this horrific experience.

"Our son is being a trooper. It honestly amazes me how resilient he is. He got a great sleep and is not complaining of any pain. Which I think is miraculous."

As the family moves forward from this terrifying experience, they say they would like to give Winnipeggers the same advice they give their family. Stay in groups, stay together and don't go out alone.

"We have versed our kids on coyote safety measures and are proud of our 15-year-old for how she managed this situation. They spotted the Coyote. They knew not to approach or run. They waited for it to move past them, but it stared them down and then lunged for them," said their mother. "Their base instinct when that happened was to run. I can’t imagine I would have reacted any differently. And considering that even after he was scared off with a shovel, he hung around and waited to be chased off further, tells me that even if my kids “hazed” him, it wouldn’t have made a difference."

According to the family, this particular coyote has been spotted several times acting in this brazen way amongst the community for over a month. It doesn’t travel with a pack and doesn’t seem to be too afraid of others. Until he is caught, they caution people in the area to be very aware of their surroundings.

"We just want to reiterate again how grateful we are for the outpouring of support, help and well wishes that we have received during this unimaginable time. We are proud to be members of this community and so happy that we chose here for our family."