Coyote that attacked NH woman, child, dogs tests positive for rabies

KENSINGTON, N.H. (WHDH/AP) — A coyote that attacked a pair of dogs, bit a woman, and skirmished with a vehicle in Kensington before being killed by a father defending his family has tested positive for rabies, officials in New Hampshire announced Tuesday.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Laboratory confirmed that a coyote killed by a father after the animal attacked his child was infected with the rabies virus.

Col. Kevin Jordan, chief of the state’s Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division, says more rabid coyotes could be on the loose in the Granite State.

“Based on all the evidence we have collected and in talking with several people who recently reported seeing coyotes acting erratically, we don’t believe this is the only coyote in the Exeter area that may have rabies,” Jordan said in a news release. “We want to, therefore, remind people that though rabies in animals is uncommon, there are some steps to take to avoid contact with infected animals.”

The Kensington Police Department believes the same coyote was responsible for attacking a vehicle on a roadway in Hampton Falls, biting a 62-year-old woman and her dogs on a porch in Kensington, and attacking the O’Reilly family on a walking trail in Exeter.

All three attacks were relatively close together and happened in little more than an hour, Kensington Police Chief Scott Cain said Monday.

Law enforcement officials were searching for the coyote when they got word that it had been killed.

“The coyote came out of the woods and grabbed a child by the jacket. The dad went into protection mode and strangled the coyote,” Cain said.

Anyone who comes in contact with a wild animal is urged to contact their healthcare professional immediately about possible exposure treatment.

Rabies can be treated if caught early.


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