NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - At about 12:30 a.m. today, Rutgers University Police euthanized an aggressive coyote believed to have been involved in two attacks against people walking near the Rutgers Nature Preserve on Thursday, Nov. 14, and Monday, Nov. 18.
Rutgers police officers saw the coyote near Parking Lot 105 on the Livingston Campus in Piscataway, near the location of the Nov. 18 incident.
According to a press release from the university, the officers positioned themselves to move the coyote away from the populated area, but the coyote continued to approach an officer and a police vehicle. The coyote’s unusually aggressive behavior indicated that it was most likely sick. The officer euthanized the coyote once it was in a safe area.
An animal control officer promptly retrieved the coyote, which will be tested for rabies. Test results are expected next week.
Rutgers University has worked closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife since the Nov. 14 attack. Fish and Wildlife officials have said both attacks were likely caused by the same coyote – and that because coyotes normally avoid people, this one’s aggressive behavior indicated it was most likely sick and would have died from disease in a matter of days.
Fish and Wildlife officials had set non-lethal snares to catch the coyote and said it would need to be euthanized to protect public safety and for rabies testing.
“The safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors are the highest priority for Rutgers University and the RUPD,” Rutgers University Police Chief Kenneth Cop said. “We thank the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife for working closely with us to protect our campus community and neighboring communities.”
The Rutgers Ecological Preserve was closed following the Nov. 14 incident and will remain closed until Rutgers Police notify the campus community when it will be reopened.
The DEP reminds the public not to feed wildlife.