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Rabies Confirmed In Coyote Killed In Berks County Pennsylvania

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 the coyote.

"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."


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