Wildlife officials: Coyotes that attacked Niwot man did not have rabies

NIWOT, Colo. - Three coyotes that attacked a man in Niwot last week have tested negative for rabies.

Andrew Dickehage said he was walking before sunrise when he heard what he thought was a bunny rustling in a bush, but when he turned his flashlight on a nearby bush, he was attacked.

"I shined the flashlight and before I could finish turning and pointing it at the brush, that’s when the initial impact happened," Dickehage said. "At that point, I felt severe agony throughout my hand and I looked down and it [the coyote] wouldn't let go."

Dickehage said as he was fighting off the first coyote with his flashlight, the other two attacked.

He managed to stay on his feet until the attack stopped and the coyotes ran off.

Dickehage was treated at Longmont United Hospital for puncture wounds and scratches.

Officers with Colorado Parks and Wildlife said they captured the three coyotes within two days of the attack.

"All three animals tested negative for rabies," officials said.

According to the necropsies, all three had recently eaten. One coyote had a large rodent in its stomach, another had a large bird in its stomach and the third coyote had feathers and a thick skin in its stomach. Officials said the skin likely came from a domestic dog or cat.

Wildlife officers said coyote attacks on humans are rare, but if it happens, fight back and report the attack as soon as possible.