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Expert: Westchester Coyotes Likely Carrying Diseases

Photo/CBS 2

Photo/CBS 2

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RYE BROOK, N.Y. (CBS 2) –Reports of coyote encounters in Westchester County have become uncomfortably frequent.

The county saw two separate coyote incidents Sunday evening.  A 14-year-old boy, a 2-year-old girl and her father were attacked in Rye Brook.  The young girl and her father were bitten and treated at an area hospital.  The coyote was eventually shot and killed.

CBS 2’s Mark Morgan spoke to animal control expert Jim Horton, who said the animals that attack are likely carrying dangerous diseases.

“Rabies, distemper, it could be parvo… any sort of virus like that…they just don’t know what they’re doing,” Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator Jim Horton said.

Horton said that if you encounter a coyote, there are steps you should take to protect yourself.

“Don’t turn your back on it, make a lot of noise, make yourself look bigger to it..if you have a stick, rocks, anything — throw it at it. Instill that fear of humans on that animal,” Horton said.

Rye Brook resident Wendie Seguljic who lives on the same street where the 2-year-old was attacked, said she and her family were fortunate that the animal did not stop in her yard.

“It left me with concern about the mangy coyotes, and why they are rabid, and why they are starting to attack people,”  Seguljic said.

“If there is a change of behavior and they are acting more aggressively…we can take appropriate steps to respond to that,” Rye Brook Police Chief Greg Austin said.