Rabid coyote killed in Montgomery County after 2 people attacked

A rabid coyote that attacked at least two people in Montgomery County was captured and killed last week, county officials say.

Montgomery County officials say the attacks were reported on March 28 in the Ashton and Burtonsville area.  

The first attack occurred near Patuxent Drive and Lost Creek Drive in Ashton and the second occurred near Bell Road in Burtonsville. 

One of the victims received non-life-threatening bites to the arms and legs. The second victim received a non-life-threatening bite but was able to fight off the coyote and injure it.

Montgomery County Animal Services worked with the Montgomery County Police Department, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Maryland National Capital Park Police and Montgomery Parks, to track the animal. 

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CREDIT: Tim Pruss

It was captured and killed the same day. After being tested, officials found that the animal was positive for rabies. 

If left untreated, rabies is fatal in humans. County health officials ask anyone who may have had contact with the coyote to check with their primary care physician to discuss the type of contact and any further actions or treatments that may be needed.  

Anyone who believes their pet may have had contact with the rabid animal, please call the Office of Animal Services at 240-773-5900. 

Officials say coyote attacks involving people are rare and are usually caused by an animal that has become used to human interaction or is sick. 

Animal Control says coyotes are generally reclusive and avoid human contact, but some have become accustomed to humans due to food availability in neighborhoods. 

They say if you come in contact with a coyote, effective techniques to scare them off include banging pots and pans together, loudly whistling, yelling, using a garden hose and throwing sticks or tennis balls.