What to Know
- Coyotes often follow routines, so if you encounter one, you should avoid the area next time
- Police believe the animal that attacked the man walking his dogs was rabid
- It was taken to animal control to be euthanized, authorities say
Police say a 66-year-old man was attacked by a possibly rabid coyote while walking his dogs on New Jersey's popular Columbia Trail.
The Long Valley resident was walking the trail in Washington Township, Morris County, with his sister, another person and a total of six beagles when the coyote attacked one of the dogs Wednesday morning, authorities say.
The man went to intervene, and the coyote bit him in the buttocks and lower calf, police say. He was able to beat the animal off with a stick.
The coyote was still at the scene when police arrived, and it was taken to animal control to be euthanized, authorities say.
The victim's injuries were relatively minor.
Rabid animal sightings in the tri-state have been somewhat commonplace in recent years, with reports of wild, feral and domestic animals contracting the disease.
According to the Humane Society, rabid animals can display a range of symptoms including foaming at the mouth, aggression and disoriented behavior.
In coyotes, activity during the day can be an indicator of the deadly zoonotic virus as the species is typically nocturnal.