NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Testing conducted by the New Jersey Department of Health indicates the coyote euthanized by Rutgers University Police on Thursday did not have rabies, according to a university spokesman.
The coyote’s unusually aggressive behavior, including approaching an officer and police vehicle, was consistent with that of the two attacks in which individuals were bitten on Nov. 14 and Nov. 18, and took place in the same location as the second attack, near Parking Lot 105 on Rutgers University–New Brunswick’s Livingston Campus, in Piscataway.
Because coyotes typically avoid people, this animal’s unusual behavior indicates it was likely sick and/or had lost its fear of humans possibly due to being fed by people leaving food out for other animals and/or improperly discarding food outdoors.
Rutgers University has worked closely with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife since the Nov. 14 attack.
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 and Rutgers Police remind the public not to feed wildlife.