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Rabies Confirmed in Coyote Attack

The coyote killed after two attacks over Labor Day weekend in Rye Brook was found to have rabies. Those attacked were treated for the disease at Greenwich Hospital following the attack.

Described in published reports as sickly and ragged looking, lunged at a teenage boy who was playing with his brother at a block party on Sunday. The animal then attacked the boys' father and 2-year-old sister.

"It's scary to know that this sick animal was roaming around the village. It's a good thing to know the animal was ultimately caught," said Gary Zuckerman, grandfather of the child who was attacked, in a published report. "Hopefully there aren't too many other rabid animals around, but you never know."

The next day a coyote attempted to bite an animal control officer. The animal was corralled by police officers and killed. It was tested using brain tissue for rabies and on Wednesday, Rye Brook health officials determined the animal was positive for the disease.

Since the attack, Greenwich police are warning residents to be extra careful. "Coyotes are part of the natural landscape," said police spokesman Lt. Kraig Gray. "It is reasonable for people to be extra vigilant due to the behavior at the Rye Brook incident."

Coyotes, first reported in Connecticut in the mid-1950s, are well-established throughout the state, including Greenwich. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection suggests several tips for preventing run-ins with coyotes. Homeowners should supervise small pets at all times when outside because coyotes may perceive them as competition.

And because coyotes are opportunistic in searching for food, residents should secure garbage, pet food, bird seed and even fallen fruit to help prevent the scavengers from wandering onto their property.

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