A North Carolina man who was taking out the trash Wednesday evening outside his home was attacked by a coyote who tested positive for rabies.
The coyote attacked the homeowner around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 3100 block of Lariat Ridge Drive, according to the Town of Wake Forest.
The man defended himself by kicking the coyote, but it only backed away until the man threw a trash can at it. The coyote remained in the man’s backyard until the homeowner’s son shot and killed it.
Wake County Animal Control later on Thursday said the coyote tested positive for rabies.
The man suffered minor injuries and drove himself to a medical facility, the town said. Wake County Human Services is advising him on "rabies treatment protocol."
"Police officials are urging pet owners to make sure their animals are vaccinated," the town said in a news release. "North Carolina law requires pet owners to have their dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated against rabies by four months of age. Pets then get a booster shot after one year, followed by a lifetime of booster shots every three years."
Coyote attacks against people are extremely rare, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission; the animals are more likely to attack pets.
Coyotes are now a common predator in North Carolina. Sightings of coyotes are becoming frequent, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Wake Forest is warning residents to not approach coyotes if they do see one and to call police after spotting any.
In February, an Orange County man shot and killed a coyote who was lurking outside his home.