dog attack
A 9-year-old boy was found dead near his bicycle after being attacked by a pack of "feral dogs," South Dakota authorities say.

The boy's body was discovered on May 18 in Eagle Butte, the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe said in a news release. Eagle Butte is a roughly 170-mile drive northeast of Rapid City.

Investigators said the child had suffered injuries "that may have contributed to his death," but the exact cause was initially unclear. Three days later, tribal police confirmed the boy was fatally mauled "by several feral dogs," officials said.

"Our hearts are heavy and our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends that have suffered this tragedy," Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement said in a May 21 news release. "Family has contacted CRST Law Enforcement and has asked us to share his cause of death; With heavy hearts, we confirm that this Wakanyeja lost his life due to an attack by several feral dogs."

The attack, and photos of the aftermath shared on social media, has fueled "hurt and anger" in the community.

"We ask that you respect the family and honor this young life with respect and not participate in such activity," officials said.

Authorities say they will be rounding up loose animals to be "processed," a release said. Animals with collars will be given a 72-hour reprieve, but if their owners do not retrieve them in time, the pets will also be processed.

Officials did not say if the dogs responsible for the attack have been found.