Another aggressive coyote found in Norwood; Animal wounded, but escapes

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Toni Yates reports from Norwood, where police have been trying to track down a loose coyote. (WABC)

The hunt for aggressive coyotes continues in one New Jersey town Thursday, where authorities wounded one of the animals but then lost the trail.

The Department of Environmental Protection says Division of Fish and Wildlife were following the blood trail of the injured coyote throughout Norwood. But then the trail ended, with no coyote in sight.

Officials urge anyone who sees the blood to avoid coming in contact with it, and anyone who spots the coyote is urged to call the Norwood Police Department immediately.

The coyote was spotted on Cathy Court and was injured while authorities tried to capture it as it ran toward Blanch Avenue.

"We received a call that there was an aggressive coyote. My officers got there, managed to wound it, and took off on us," said Norwood Police Chief Krapels.

Chief Kraepls says 7 traps are still in place in key locations, where dens have been found and where there have been signs of coyote activity.

Meanwhile, a different aggressive coyote that authorities believe attacked a man walking his dog and then a police car tested positive for rabies Wednesday.

The rabid coyote was captured and euthanized for testing on Monday night, and the discovery of two dens -- one near a school -- prompted police to issue a warning in to stay inside until all coyotes in the area can be rounded up. They are calling it a "coyote curfew."

"We're monitoring those traps," said David Chanda, of the state Division of Fish and Wildlife. "We also have local residents monitoring those traps. If we catch anything, local police will come and destroy the animal and it will be tested also."

The man attacked over the weekend sustained a bite to his calf and was treated for rabies as a precaution, since the animal had not yet been caught. The animal then attacked the tires of a patrol car parked behind the school.

"The coyote started to attack a police car," Krapels said. "We called New Jersey Wildlife, and they said that's not normal behavior for the coyote."

After combing acres and acres of land, Norwood police finally found an aggressive coyote behind a Summit Street home. A New Jersey Wildlife officer fired and wounded the animal, and it was later killed.

As it was taken away in a black bag, police explained the animal showed signs of aggression even after being injured, leading them to believe it was rabid.

"I hope we took out the most aggressive coyote," Krapels said. "We have traps on the way right now, because now we know where the dens are."

One of those two dens has a tunnel towards the school, and all outdoor school activities are suspended until further notice.

Residents are thankful a coyote was caught, but know there are still others out there. There is also no way for wildlife officials to definitively confirm that the captured animal is the one that attacked the man and car.

"People have been calling alerting the police letting them know," resident Joanne Spadaccini said. "The police have been on top of it. By the time they get here, it's hard if the animal is not here anymore."

State officials are advising residents to proceed with caution. "There's no need to be panicked in this situation," said Chanda. "If an animal is approaching you, any wild animal, you should not let it approach. You should not feed them. try to steer clear of it and get away. If it's a coyote, treat it like it's a big German shepherd, you're not going to approach it, you're going to start yelling at it, you're going to do what you can to scare it away and that's what you should do in a situation with a coyote."

The incident comes one week after a coyote attack in another Bergen County town, Saddle River. A man was attacked by a coyote while he worked in his yard, and that animal has since tested positive for rabies.

The man was able to escape and was taken to the hospital for his injuries.

Conservation officers determined it was the same coyote that injured a neighbor's dog the previous week, and the dog needed treatment by a veterinarian.

Police and state wildlife officials found that coyote in the woods, where it was euthanized.
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