September 27, 2006
Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife
veterinarian today announced the state Department of Agriculture's
laboratory has confirmed that an eastern coyote killed in Sinking
Spring, Berks County, was rabid. The sample was submitted by a
private citizen, who killed the animal on Sept. 21, after it
displayed aggressive behavior.
According to the individual, his dogs were attacked by the coyote,
and it attempted to come through a door after attacking the dogs.
One dog was bitten; both were previously vaccinated, and
subsequently received booster shots.
"This is the first confirmed case of rabies in this species in
Pennsylvania," said Dr. Cottrell. "We always knew that coyotes
were susceptible to rabies, but such a case had never been
confirmed before. The Game Commission is awaiting the results of
tests to determine which strain or the rabies virus was affecting
"With many Pennsylvanians, including hunters, trappers and hikers,
preparing to enjoy outdoor activities in Penn's Woods, we wanted
to remind them to be cautious if they encounter wildlife acting in
an unusual manner."