Officials in New York are urging students and residents of the Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park areas to remain vigilant after a possibly rabid coyote allegedly attacked a student at Marist College.
“The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health (DBCH) alerts residents, including Marist College students, that an aggressive coyote was observed on Marist’s campus in the Town of Poughkeepsie on Tuesday, February 7th,” Dutchess New York County Health Officials said on Wednesday. “It is unknown at this time if the animal is rabid.”
The animal was spotted in the area of Leo Hall, where it allegedly bit a student on the leg.
The school contacted the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department, which is working with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to locate the animal.
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“Do not approach and keep pets away,” the health officials said in the post, also urging people to avoid any contact with wild animals.
The Dutchess County Department of Behavioral and Community Health said “between September 2022 and February 2023” several “aggressive coyotes” were observed in and around the Town of Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park area, including Marist College in the Town of Poughkeepsie, The Culinary Institute of America in the Town of Hyde Park, and Hyde Park Drive-In in the Town of Hyde Park.
The DBCH encourages those attending, studying, or working in these areas to use caution.
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The student who was allegedly bitten was assisted by security and received medical attention.
Curtis Rodriguez, a friend of the victim, said his friend had to get “rabies shots” but is back attending classes, according to WABC.
“He’s going to classes, he is fine, he’s walking perfectly, he had to get rabies shots,” Rodriguez said, per the report.
It is not known if the coyote had rabies. Authorities are still attempting to locate and trap it.
“Wild animals should remain wild, we should not try to interact with them, we should try to avoid them, and normally wild animals will try to avoid humans too,” said Dutchess County Health Commissioner Dr. Livia Santiago-Rosado, WABC reported.
The DBCH said if any physical contact between a coyote and a person or pet occurs, the individual should report the incident as soon as possible at (845) 486-3404 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or (845) 431-6465 on nights/weekends/holidays.