Coyote Killed in NY Had Rabies, 2nd Remains at Large, Police Warn

Residents are advised to stay out of wooded areas and keep their pets inside if possible

What to Know

  • Two rabid coyotes are believed to be behind a series of attacks on people and pets in Yonkers and Hastings-on-Hudson
  • In one case, a mail carrier was bit on the leg; in another, two people and their dogs were attacked -- they were taken to the hospital
  • One of the coyotes was killed after attacking a police officer, while the other is still at large

The coyote that was killed amid a string of attacks on people and pets in Westchester this week had rabies, police announced Saturday, warning that another coyote remains on the loose and is likely rabid too.

Yonkers Police said the Health Department informed them the coyote killed Thursday night tested positive for rabies.

“The second coyote has not been located yet and is presumed rabid,” police said. They warned residents to stay away from coyotes that are out during the day and unafraid of humans.

The two coyotes are believed to be behind attacks on two people and their dogs, two people on bicycles, a postal worker, and a police officer over a 24-hour period this week.

Authorities in Yonkers said Thursday night that they found and killed one of the coyotes near the Dunwoodie Golf Course, but that another was still on the loose.

Officials said that before the animal was killed, it had bitten an officer searching for it. The officer was taken to a hospital and was expected to be OK. Authorities didn't elaborate on where the officer was bitten, but said they tracked down the animal with a helicopter and drone.

The wily animals were first reported in Hastings-in-Hudson Wednesday night, when one attacked the dog walkers and their pets, police there said. One attack was on Kent Avenue, the other Hillside Woods. The victims were taken to a hospital.

One of the coyotes was suspected to have been behind two attacks in Yonkers Wednesday, the first around 11:15 a.m. near Westminster Drive, when the coyote bit a mail carrier in the leg.

A woman living in the area heard one of the mail carrier's screams for help and called 911. The neighbor, who gave her name as Pat, described seeing fang marks on the mail carrier's knee and on the back of her leg. Pat said she let the mailwoman into her home and did her best to comfort her until the ambulance arrived.

A few hours later, a coyote tried to attack a woman on a bicycle near Tuckahoe Road, knocking her over as she was riding the bike, police said. The coyote then ran off.

Another man was also bitten while riding his bicycle, according to authorities.

Other residents have also had close calls. One man was caught on surveillance footage jumping through the window of a parked car after one coyote came trotting by.

Residents of Yonkers had said back in June they had noticed coyotes on the prowl, and said they appeared to be getting aggressive.

Police said Thursday that the state Department of Environmental Conversation would send officers to the area to help track and capture the coyote in the recent series of attacks. In the meantime, residents are advised to stay out of all wooded areas and keep their pets inside if possible.

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.

Wildlife experts say people can reduce the risk of coyote conflicts by not feeding them and securing trash and pets, among other steps.

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