The coyote that lunged at, and bit a 5-year-old girl at Carroll Park in Thornwood Sunday has tested positive for rabies.
The incident took place around 4 p.m. Sunday at the park on Kensico Road when police said the coyote attacked the girl who was playing on the playground.
The child, who was at the park with her parents, was "just playing with other children when the coyote approached and bit her, on the left forearm" said Mount Pleasant Police Lt. Robert Miliambro.
An off-duty Irvington police officer, Angelo Liberatore, jumped on the coyote and held it down until Mount Pleasant police arrived and shot and killed the animal, said Miliambro.
Both are receiving rabies shots, officials said.
Everyone who came into contact with the animal, or its saliva, is being evaluated to determine the need for preventive rabies treatment, according to Westchester County health officials.
“If a coyote approaches, make noise and try to avoid it,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Sherlita Amler. “If it appears aggressive or lethargic, it could have rabies, so contact local police. Avoid contact with strays and other wildlife.”
Unusual behavior may be the first sign of rabies in an animal. A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame. Staggering and frothing at the mouth are sometimes noted.
Any physical contact with a wild or unfamiliar animal should be immediately reported to a health care provider to evaluate the need for preventive rabies treatment. If left untreated, rabies is fatal.
All animal bites or contacts with animals suspected of having rabies must be reported to the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000, 24 hours a day.
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