(Kensington Police Department)
EXETER, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A coyote killed by a New Hampshire man Monday morning has been confirmed to have been rabid.
Ian O'Reilly of Kensington was hiking with his family in Exeter when the coyote attacked his son. O'Reilly stepped in to fight the coyote and suffocated it to death.
New Hampshire's Fish and Game Department said Tuesday that the dead animal tested positive for rabies.
"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,” said Col. Kevin Jordan, chief of the Fish and Game Law Enforcement Division. “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."
Kensington Police believe this same coyote was involved in two similar attacks earlier in the day.
Authorities are urging people to avoid coyotes and other wild animals due to the threat of rabies. The disease can be transferred from infected animals to humans through bites and can turn fatal if left untreated.