🔴 An 'aggressive' coyote attacked a 13-year-old girl and her dog

🔴 The attack has forced the closure of parts of an NJ nature preserve

🔴 The coyote may be rabid, reports say

MAPLEWOOD — A North Jersey nature preserve is largely closed to the public for the Fourth of July holiday week after a coyote attacked a teenage girl and her small dog.

The "aggressive" coyote bit the 13-year-old girl at the South Mountain Reservation on Friday, Essex County Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said. She was treated at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston for minor injuries while her Shih Tzu was taken to an animal hospital, CBS 2 New York reported.

Another woman was reportedly attacked by the coyote around 90 minutes after the first incident.

The attacks have prompted officials to close parts of the 2,112-acre county park through Wednesday.

South Mountain dog park in Essex County (CBS 2 New York)
South Mountain dog park in Essex County (CBS 2 New York)

The reservation's dog park and Crest Drive have been closed since Friday. All picnic and parking areas between South Orange Avenue and Glen Avenue have also been closed through Wednesday based on a recommendation from the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, according to DiVincenzo.

"We ask that anyone visiting the reservation be extremely cautious," DiVincenzo said

Authorities believe the coyote may be rabid because it is not traveling as part of a pack, ABC 7 Eyewitness News reported.

The state Department of Environmental Protection recommends that people should never feed coyotes. Other guidelines include bringing pets indoors and putting away bird feeders at night.

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