A coyote that a hiker killed with his bare hands has tested positive for rabies, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the Rhode Island Department of Health announced.
The hiker was attacked on Friday and bitten on the leg while walking in the woods in Johnston, according to police. The hiker pinned the coyote down by its neck, killing it by cutting off its air supply, police said.
The same coyote is believed to have attacked a dog walker the day before in nearby Scituate, officials said.
It’s unusual for a coyote to attack a human under normal circumstances. Tests at RIDOH’s Rhode Island State Health Laboratories confirmed the rabies infection. It was only the third report of a rabid coyote in Rhode Island since 1994, officials said.
In January 2020, a man fatally strangled a coyote with his bare hands after the animal attacked him and his family as they hiked in New Hampshire, according to CBS News. That coyote was tested for rabies but it is unclear whether the results were positive.