Officials: Coyote that attacked NC man taking out trash tests positive for rabies

Coyote (Source: US Fish & Wildlife)

Authorities warned residents to be on alert after a North Carolina man was attacked by a rabid coyote on Wednesday.

Officials with the town of Wake Forest said a homeowner on Lariat Ridge Drive was taking out his trash around 9:30 p.m. when he was attacked. The man defended himself by kicking the coyote and throwing a trash can at it.

After he was able to get away, his son shot and killed the coyote. The homeowner suffered minor injuries.

Officials later confirmed the coyote tested positive for rabies and the victim was being advised on treatment protocol.

In the aftermath of the attack, police are urging people to make sure their pets are up to date on rabies vaccinations. Coyote attacks are very rare on people, according to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, but attacks on outdoor cats and small dogs are more common.

The agency issued the following tips to prevent conflicts with coyotes:

Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids, and take them out in the morning of pick up, not the night before. Coyotes and other wildlife will scavenge trash. Don’t feed or try to pet coyotes. Feeding a coyote rewards that animal for coming in close proximity to people. Once a coyote becomes habituated, it loses its natural wariness of people and may become bold and aggressive. Protect your pets by keeping them inside, leashed, or inside a fenced area. Install coyote-proof fencing around your home to protect unsupervised pets. Feed pets indoors or remove food when your pet is finished eating outside. Coyotes and other wildlife are attracted to pet food left outdoors. Keep bird-feeder areas clean. Use bird feeders that keep seed off the ground. Coyotes are attracted to small animals congregating on the ground. If coyotes are frequently seen, remove all feeders. Close off crawl spaces under sheds and porches. Coyotes and other wildlife may use these spaces for resting and raising young. Cut back brushy edges in your yard, which provide cover for coyotes. Don’t be intimidated by a coyote. Maintain its wariness by throwing a small object, such as a tennis ball, at it, making a loud noise, or spraying it with a hose. Let it know it is unwelcome near your home. Clear fallen fruit from around fruit trees. Coyotes are omnivorous and regularly consume fruit as part of their diet. Educate your neighbors. Your efforts to prevent coyote conflicts will be less effective if some neighbors are still providing foods. Allow hunters or trappers access to your property, so the local coyote population can be managed. Coyotes avoid areas in which threats are perceivedMORE NEWS: Police: Something went 'terribly wrong' in death of trapped teen who called 911 for help

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