Rabies found in autopsy of Berks County coyote

| 29 Sep 2011 | 09:39

    READING - Dr. Walter Cottrell, Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife veterinarian has confirmed that the state Department of Agriculture’s laboratory found that an eastern coyote killed in Sinking Spring, Berks County, was rabid. The sample was submitted by a private citizen, who killed the animal on Sept. 21, after it displayed aggressive behavior. According to the individual, his dogs were attacked by the coyote, and it attempted to come through a door after attacking the dogs. One dog was bitten; both were previously vaccinated, and subsequently received booster shots. “This is the first confirmed case of rabies in this species in Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Cottrell. “We always knew that coyotes were susceptible to rabies, but such a case had never been confirmed before. The Game Commission is awaiting the results of tests to determine which strain or the rabies virus was affecting the coyote. “With many Pennsylvanians, including hunters, trappers and hikers, preparing to enjoy outdoor activities in Penn’s Woods, we wanted to remind them to be cautious if they encounter wildlife acting in an unusual manner.” For more on coyotes and rabies, visit the Game Commission’s Web site at www.pgc.state.pa.us/ . Created in 1895 as an independent state agency, the Game Commission does not receive any general state taxpayer dollars for its annual operating budget. The agency is funded by license sales revenues; the state’s share of the federal Pittman-Robertson program, which is an excise tax collected through the sale of sporting arms and ammunition; and monies from the sale of oil, gas, coal, timber and minerals derived from State Game Lands.