Orange county man saves family from coyote

ORANGE COUNTY (WTVD) -- An Orange County man came home from work to find a coyote on his land near Highway 57 on Thursday.

At the time, Ian Vigus' 6-year-old daughter was playing on the family's trampoline and his 73-pound English Bullmastiff, Bernie, spotted the coyote first.

"All of a sudden, Bernie started barking and growling and Bernie is usually quiet and docile," said Vigus. "I turned and came over and find the coyote standing about 50 feet from the boundary fence staring back at him, and as Bernie was growling at him, the coyote was growling back."

Vigus secured his family in the house, grabbed his Ruger rifle, and went back outside.

By this time, the coyote had placed more than 500 yards between itself and Vigus.

"As he started to lope off, I shot him and killed him," Vigus said with no hesitation. "I just wanted to protect my family and protect my livestock."

This instance, along with an increasing amount of other coyote sightings in Orange County has promoted the County to send a notice regarding the scavengers.

The notice states, in part:

Coyotes can carry rabies and, recently, there have been a few laboratory-confirmed rabies cases in North Carolina. Coyotes with rabies can become aggressive toward humans.

North Carolina residents have reported more encounters with the animals - some have been blatantly rabid. There was a recent incident in Huntersville, NC where a rabid coyote confronted a family while in their car. In a video taken by a family member, the animal can be seen growling, and then attacking a front tire.

Also in the notice released by Orange County regarding recent coyote sightings, the county says:

Practicing recommended hazing techniques for any coyotes that are spotted will help them maintain an appropriate level of fear and wariness around humans and domesticated pets. It is recommended that people always frighten a coyote if they come into contact with it, to avoid habituation. Loud and startling noises should be made so coyotes remain untrusting of humans. Household items like pots and pans that are easily accessible can work nicely for this.

In regards to the coyote Vigus killed, it did not seem to be rabid.
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