A young coyote in Union Township tested positive for rabies, according to the Hunterdon County Department of Health.

There was no specific incident reported involving the coyote, according to the announcement, which advised anyone who had contact with the coyote between June 22 and July 6  in the area of Race Street and County Route 513 to talk to their primary care physician or the Hunterdon County Medical Center emergency room.

Owners of cats, dogs and livestock are urged to get them a rabies shot and avoid picking up any stray animals. Saliva from infected animals should be considered infectious.

The state DEP shared these guidelines to prevent conflict with coyotes:

  • Never feed a coyote. Deliberately feeding coyotes puts pets and other residents in the neighborhood at risk.
  • Feeding pet cats and/or feral (wild) cats outdoors can attract coyotes. The coyotes feed on the pet food and also prey upon the cats.
  • Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
  • Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
  • Bring pets in at night.
  • Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
  • Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, and other farm animals.
  • Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
  • Although extremely rare, coyotes have been known to attack humans. Parents should monitor their children, even in familiar surroundings, such as backyards.
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
  • Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings - this reduces protective cover for coyotes and makes the area less attractive to rodents and rabbits.
  • Coyotes, as well as other predators, are attracted to areas where rodents are concentrated like woodpiles.
  • If coyotes are present, make sure they know they're not welcome. Make loud noises, blast a canned air siren, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose

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

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