Virginia officer kills coyote after several attacks

June 5, 2022 GMT

SPRINGFIELD, Va. (AP) — A northern Virginia police officer fatally shot a presumably rabid coyote that had bitten several people after the animal also attacked him, authorities said Sunday.

The Fairfax County officer was searching a wooded area for the coyote, which had bitten three people and two dogs in the vicinity a day earlier.

The coyote bit the officer, who fired his gun to end the attack, the department tweeted. The animal was found dead nearby, and the officer was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Lt. Dan Spital said the officer and community members who were bitten are expected to make a full recovery.

Spital said authorities suspect the animal was rabid. Testing to confirm whether it had the disease will be conducted, he said.