KENSINGTON, N.H. (CBS) — With no work or school Monday, the O’Reilly’s brought their three kids to Jude’s Pond in Exeter for a family hike. It ended when Ian O’Reilly wound up in a life and death struggle with a coyote that was very likely rabid.
With coyote bites on his arm and chest, O’Reilly said he had no choice but to fight.
“There was no running away, it would not allow us to run away,” O’Reilly said. “It was very much the aggressor.”
Authorities believe it was the coyote first reported when it went after someone’s moving car in Hampton Falls Monday morning. Shortly before, it bit a woman and her two dogs at the backdoor of a nearby home in Kensington.
Two hours later, O’Reilly, his wife, and three young children were hiking at Jude’s Pond when the coyote went after his young son.
“It actually caught the hood of his jacket and was able to pull him down,” O’Reilly said.
Mom grabbed the kids before the animal could bite anyone and dad found himself eye to eye with the snarling beast.
“I did kick him square in the jaw once that put him to the ground and I was able to jump on him after that,” O’Reilly said.
As his wife called 911, Ian O’Reilly strangled the coyote during several minutes that seemed surreal at best.
“In the moment you don’t really pay attention to what’s going on you just try and go with whatever goes through your brain, instincts I suppose,” O’Reilly said.
Incredibly, O’Reilly says his same son was bitten by a rabid raccoon in the family’s backyard just a year ago, but they’re still nature lovers.
“Ultimately it won’t stop us from going outside,” O’Reilly said.
The dead coyote will be tested for rabies Tuesday, even though O’Reilly and the dog owner in Kensington have already started the shots.
New Hampshire Fish and Game says they’re still not ruling out the possibility that this involved two different coyotes.