Aggressive coyote tests positive for rabies in New Jersey

NORWOOD, N.J. (WPVI) -- An aggressive coyote that authorities believe attacked a man walking his dog and then a police car has tested positive for rabies, Norwood police announced Wednesday.

Meanwhile, another animal was sighted on Villa Court, and a patrol car was monitoring the animal into the Cobblestone Crossing area.

The rabid coyote was captured and euthanized for testing on Monday night, and the discovery of two dens -- one near a school -- prompted police to issue a warning in to stay inside until all coyotes in the area can be rounded up. They are calling it a "coyote curfew."

The man attacked over the weekend sustained a bite to his calf and was treated for rabies as a precaution, since the animal had not yet been caught. The animal then attacked the tires of a patrol car parked behind the school.

"The coyote started to attack a police car," Norwood police Chief Jeff Krapels said. "We called New Jersey Wildlife, and they said that's not normal behavior for the coyote."

After combing acres and acres of land, Norwood police finally found an aggressive coyote behind a Summit Street home. A New Jersey Wildlife officer fired and wounded the animal, and it was later killed.

As it was taken away in a black bag, police explained the animal showed signs of aggression even after being injured, leading them to believe it was rabid.

"I hope we took out the most aggressive coyote," Krapels said. "We have traps on the way right now, because now we know where the dens are."

One of those two dens has a tunnel towards the school, and all outdoor school activities are suspended until further notice.

Residents are thankful a coyote was caught, but know there are still others out there.

"People have been calling alerting the police letting them know," resident Joanne Spadaccini said. "The police have been on top of it. By the time they get here, it's hard if the animal is not here anymore."

The incident comes one week after a coyote attack in another Bergen County town, Saddle River. A man was attacked by a coyote while he worked in his yard, and that animal has since tested positive for rabies.

The man was able to escape and was taken to the hospital for his injuries.

Conservation officers determined it was the same coyote that injured a neighbor's dog the previous week, and the dog needed treatment by a veterinarian.

Police and state wildlife officials found that coyote in the woods, where it was euthanized.
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