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Coyote attacks toddler; father strangles animal to death, police say

WCVB Boston logo WCVB Boston 1/20/2020
a cat sitting on the side of a road: Coyote © Kensington Police Department Coyote

A New Hampshire man strangled a coyote to death after it attacked his child Monday morning, according to the Kensington police chief.

Chief Scott Cain said the coyote's attack on the child, who is less than 2 years old, was one of many in surrounding communities.

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The first incident happened about 8:40 a.m. in Hampton Falls, near the Kensington town line.

Hampton Falls police said a person driving on Drinkwater Road reported that a coyote attacked their vehicle and then took off.

About 20 minutes later, Kensington police received a report that a coyote had attacked a woman and her dogs at 3 Hemlock Road in Kensington.

Police said the 62-year-old woman and her two dogs were on the three-season porch at her home when the coyote approached and tried to get into the porch.

The woman's dogs managed to open the sliding glass door and got into a fight with the coyote on the porch. The woman was bitten by the coyote as she managed to get her two dogs into the house.

The coyote tried to get into the victim's house, but Cain said the woman managed to slam the coyote's head in the door and that the animal took off again.

Then at about 11 a.m., Exeter police said they received a report that the same coyote attacked a family that was hiking on trails near the Exeter/Kensington town line.

According to Cain, the coyote approached the family and attacked a toddler, grabbing the child by their coat.

The child's father then went into "defense mode," Cain said, and proceeded to grab the coyote by the throat and suffocated it. The coyote managed to bite the man in the struggle.

New Hampshire Fish and Game officers have collected the coyote's remains, which will be brought to Concord and tested for rabies.

Cain said the 62-year-old Kensington woman who was bitten was treated at Exeter Hospital and has already received the first series of the rabies vaccine. She will receive the second set of shots later this week.

The woman's dogs were treated by a veterinarian and each received a rabies booster shot.

The coyote attack in Kensington happened a little less than 4 miles from the Massachusetts border.

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