PISCATAWAY — A member of the Rutgers community says he was attacked by an "aggressive" coyote while walking through the Rutgers Preserve on the school's Livingston campus before dawn Thursday.

Rutgers police said the individual, who was only identified as being "affiliated" with the school, reported the coyote ran out of the woods and bit him was he walked on the footpath of Avenue E near Hospital Road and the Rutgers Athletic Center around 4 a.m. The individual's bite was treated at a hospital.

Patrols in the area and within the 425-acre EcoPreserve were increased by Rutgers police. The state Division of Fish & Wildlife is also investigating.

Aggressive coyotes have been a problem around the state this year including two separate attacks in one day at the Ramapo Valley County Reservation on Mahwah in October. Police shot and killed a coyote that attacked a mom and her 4-year-old son at an Essex County park in June.

A young coyote spotted in Union Township in Hunterdon County tested positive for rabies.

Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna said coyote attacks are very rare in New Jersey but offered advice on what to do if you encounter a coyote.

  • Keep an eye on children and pets. Small pets can look like prey
  • Make it known that the animal is not welcome by making a lot of noise
  • If a coyote appears aggressive, try throwing a rock or other object
  • If you’re near the safety of your house or a vehicle, just go inside until the coyote disappears

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

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