Coyote killed on Rutgers U. campus was not rabid, university says –

The coyote that was killed by Rutgers Police officers on Thursday on campus was not rabid, authorities said.

The coyote was still believed to be the same animal that attacked two people at the Livingston Campus over the last week, Rutgers University Spokesman Neal Buccino said in a statement.

Officials said the animal’s “unusually aggressive” behavior, which included approaching an officer and police vehicle, was consistent with the two attacks that occurred on Nov. 14 and Monday, but that testing for rabies performed by the New Jersey Department of Health came back negative.

“Because coyotes typically avoid people, this animal’s unusual behavior indicates it was likely sick and/or had lost its fear of humans possibly due to being fed by people leaving food out for other animals and/or improperly discarding food outdoors,” according to the statement.

The first attack took place Thursday when a coyote ran out of the woods and bit a man walking on the footpath of Avenue E near Hospital Road around 4 a.m. near Rutgers University Ecological Preserve, according to Rutgers police. The man was treated and released from a local hospital.

The second took place around 7:30 p.m. Monday. A man was walking on Road 3 near Suttons Lane in the area of parking lot 105 when the coyote approached him from behind and bit his left pant leg. The coyote quickly released its grip and then ran away. The man was not injured.

Police confronted the coyote near the same parking lot as the second attack at 12:30 a.m. on Thursday and immediately began to try to lure the animal away from a populated area, Buccino said in a statement.

The coyote continued to approach an officer and once it was in a safe area, the officer killed it, officials said.

The preserve where the first attack occurred was closed following the incident and will remain closed until Rutgers Police notify the campus community when it will be reopened, authorities said.

Chris Sheldon may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find on Facebook.

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