MIDDLETOWN, N.J. – Police shot and killed a coyote Wednesday less than a mile from where a 5-year-old boy was attacked this week but cautioned that at least four others were roaming nearby.
It was not known whether the animal that was killed was the same one that bit Brayden Gazette as he and his sister were playing near their home on Monday.
"It's somewhat of a relief, but I'm still going to be watching out for my kids every minute," said the boy's mother, Joann Gazette. "Who knows how many more are out there? And how can anyone be sure if this is the one who bit my son?"
The animal was killed about three-quarters of a mile from her home, she said.
Police cornered the animal and chased it along a fence of the Earle Naval Weapons Station before shooting it with a .40-caliber handgun, said Township Administrator Robert Czech.
"It was apparently trying to find an access point back into the Navy property," he said.
Police spotted at least four other coyotes before the animal was killed, he said. Traps are still in place to capture other coyotes.
"I'm relieved we got one so that we can get some information about the population that might be out there; whether she was nursing or had pups," he said. "But this underscores that there are other coyotes out there. We saw at least five."
The coyote that was killed was a female that weighed about 35 pounds. The carcass was to be tested for rabies.
Brayden got 46 stitches in the back of the head and two rabies shots after a coyote bit him Monday.
Another boy, 22-month-old Liam Sadler, was grabbed by a coyote while playing near the naval station April 6. The toddler had to undergo rabies shots.