A New Hampshire man fought and killed a coyote on Monday, police said, bringing a spate of attacks to an end.
Ian O’Reilly, from Kensington, choked the coyote to death after it attacked his two-year-old child. The same coyote is believed to have bitten a woman in the buttocks earlier in the day, and attacked a car.
The coyote targeted O’Reilly’s family while they were walking on a trail near Kensington. It bit one of O’Reilly’s three children, prompting the father to kick it. O’Reilly then throttled the animal.
“There was no interest in it going away,” O’Reilly told Boston 25 News. “[I] ultimately had to make the decision to become the aggressor and jumped on it, attacked it and [got] it to the ground.
“When I was able to get on top of it, I put my hand on its snout so it wasn’t able to attack me. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground, so I shoved the face into the snow and then eventually was able [to] put my hand on its snout and expire it through suffocation.
“Ultimately one hand on its windpipe and one hand on its snout did the trick.”
O’Reilly was reportedly bitten in the arm and chest. His child was wearing a bulky snowsuit and was unharmed.
“The coyote attacked a young child, and the child’s dad went into protection mode and suffocated the coyote until it succumbed,” police said.
New Hampshire’s fish and game department was testing the coyote for rabies, according to 25 News. O’Reilly received shots for the virus.
Police believe the same coyote earlier attacked a car in the same vicinity, before targeting Kensington resident Pat Lee and her dogs. The coyote bit one of the dogs and bit Lee in the buttocks.
“Thank God the plumber was here, because the plumber was standing at the door screaming, ‘Get in! Get in!’” Lee told NBC Boston. The coyote managed to get into Lee’s home.
“I was running behind the dogs to get them in, and just as I was here, literally, the coyote bit me. In the butt.”
Coyote attacks are rare. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “more people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes”.
The Kensington police chief, Scott Cain, said O’Reilly may have saved others from being attacked by the coyote.
“The chances are it was sick and the pack kicked it out of the pack,” Cain said.