PISCATAWAY — A coyote trapped and euthanized by Rutgers University police on Thursday tested negative for rabies, officials said Friday.

Authorities feared the animal might have had the dangerous disease after it attacked two men on the school's Livingston Campus during the past week.

The first attack was in the early hours of Nov. 14 when a member of the Rutgers community was bit while using a walkway in the Rutgers Preserve near the Rutgers Athletic Center. The second reported attack was Monday night on the other end of the campus on Road 3 near Sutton Lane and parking lot 105. The man was bit in the pant leg.

The coyote returned to the scene of the second attack Monday morning and as Rutgers University police offices tried to direct the creature away from the populated area it continued to approach, according to university spokesman Neal Buccino.

Because the unusually aggressive behavior was indicative of illness, officers decided to euthanize the coyote once it was in a safe area, Buccino said. Coyotes normally try to avoid people.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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