People living in parts of Westchester County are being warned to be on the lookout for a rabid coyote after two people were attacked — with one victim injured badly enough to be sent to the hospital.
The animal attack occurred around 5 pm Thursday when two women were taking a stroll on Turkey Hill Road in the town of North Salem. Despite it being a popular spot for neighborhood walks, it quickly turned dangerous for the two women.
One of the women was sent to the hospital as a result of the attack. Her condition was not immediately clear.
“He went after her leg, tore her pants up and actually punctured her numerous times in the leg,” said Peter Kamenstein, the deputy supervisor for the town.
He arrived just minutes after the attack, and his team combed the area for the coyote, but the animal quickly fled. Town leaders said there are plenty of coyotes in the area, but this one was different.
“No doubt in my mind the coyote was rabid. In addition to attacking the lady, he attacked some tires on a car,” Kamenstein said, adding that the women who was bit will need to get treatment. “The lady is going to have to undergo rabies shots, because once you get rabies, that’s the end of it. There’s no cure.”
North Castle Town Supervisor Warren Lucas said it’s best for everyone to “take precautions” to best protect themselves.
“I’ve been here since the 50s, and we have a lot of wildlife in town. We have lots of coyotes, lots of bobcats, foxes — and I’ve never seen a situation like this where we have a rabid coyote,” Lucas said.
A surveillance camera in Surfside, Texas, shows a cat narrowly escaping a coyote attach on the porch of a beach house.
The town of North Salem immediately put out an alert, and now local residents now on the lookout. The state environmental conservation says some key tips to help prevent having coyotes come around include:
- Do not leave food sources outside, such as pet food or even bird feeders
- Look out for your pets, keep an eye on them when outside
- If you see a coyote, don’t run away. Instead, act aggressively while making loud noises and waving your arms
The town supervisor has one more tip to prevent rabies:
“Please have your pets vaccinated because we have people in town who don’t do that,” said Lucas.