A New Jersey resident was attacked by a coyote while walking his dog in his neighborhood Sunday, authorities say.
Stephen Sinisi said he had been walking his pup in a wooded area near McClellan Street and D'Ercole Court in Norwood when he saw the coyote. At first it looked like a dog, he said, but he realized it was a coyote -- having seen one or two in the area in the past -- and he started to back up slowly, heading toward home.
The coyote started to show interest in his dog, Sinisi said, and he and his pooch started to run. He managed to get the dog in the house safely; then the coyote bit him on the leg. He has started taking rabies shots as a precautionary measure.
Wildlife officials say they're sending an agent to help trap the coyote, and the Norwood police chief says he put out extra patrols near the schools.
Meanwhile, local authorities are urging residents to be mindful of the potential danger. Norwood Mayor James Barsa said the town is asking families who live near where the coyote was last spotted to keep their children and small dogs inside.
The attack is the latest brush between humans and coyotes in the tri-state, the second in Bergen County alone in recent weeks.
Earlier this month, a rabid coyote attacked a Saddle River man and mauled a neighbor's labrador retriever. The dog needed about 30 stitches to close the wound left by the coyote and authorities said it would be quarantined for six months because it wasn't up to date on its rabies vaccinations.
In March, a family in Closter, another Bergen County town, said that two roaming coyotes took up residence in an old doghouse, howling at the moon and creating a nightly nuisance.
The sightings aren't limited to wooded areas in New Jersey, though. Last week, a coyote was captured in a park near a church in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. In January, one coyote was captured on the Upper West Side, while another was rounded up in Stuyvesant Town.
Anyone who sees a wild animal that appears sick or is acting aggressively or is unusually friendly should call police, they say. Coyotes are normally shy animals, according to the Health Department.
Authorities have noted that it's become "quite common for coyotes to enter into urban and residential areas and in many cases make small wooded areas their home," according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife.
People who encounter a coyote should never run away; instead, they're encouraged to "haze" the animal with techniques like making loud noises or throwing sticks or objects towards but not at the coyote, the Humane Society says.