The Kissimmee resort is at the center of a rabies warning after an infected coyote attacked three people, eventually biting two of them after taking a serious punt.
News 13 reports that a rabid coyote was the first to try to attack a man walking along the sidewalk at the Emerald Island Resort. The man tried to scare the coyote away, but as the animal continued to approach, he fought off the coyote with a quick kick. However, the coyote rose a few seconds later and headed towards the nearby Sun Key Place. WESH reports that a rabid animal ambushed Gordon Clark while he was on the back porch, biting his calf. After Clark pushed the coyote away, he flew through two doors to his neighbor Robin O’Donnell’s house. Coyote lashed out at O’Donnell while she was gardening and bit her on the leg.
“I kicked him, I punched him, she punched him,” O’Donnell’s husband, Tom O’Donnell, told WESH. “It didn’t work. She also hit her with her fist, so I strangled him, and then he released her, so I threw him to the ground and practically sat on him. ”
The O’Donnells managed to tie the coyote, but he died shortly before the arrival of the animal control officers, according to the TV station. Clarke and Robin O’Donnell have gone to the hospital and are being treated for “possible exposure” to the virus, WESH reports.
The Florida Department of Health in Osceola County said the coyote tested positive for rabies on January 29. The department also issued a 60-day rabies alert for the area and asked residents to vaccinate their pets against rabies and avoid contact with all wild animals, in particular raccoons, bats, foxes, skunks, otters, lynxes and coyotes.
If a pet is bitten by a wild animal, call your veterinarian and immediately contact Osceola Animal Welfare at 407-742-8000 or the EPA at 407-742-8606. The agency said people who have been bitten or scratched by wild and domestic animals should seek medical attention and report injuries to the Florida Department of Health to the Osceola County Epidemiology Program at 407-343-2155.