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Deer that attacked NY man tests positive for rabies

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TROY, N.Y. (WRGB/SBG) - The Rensselaer County Health Department said Wednesday that a Troy man will undergo treatment, as a precaution, after a deer that attacked him Tuesday tested positive for rabies.

The County said it wants anyone else who may have come in contact with this particular deer to call the County Health Department.

Anthony Remillard said he was taking some couch cushions out to the trash on Tuesday when he turned around and saw a buck in his yard. He said he backed up, but saw the deer approaching him. He reacted as quickly as he could and used the cushions, up in front of his face, for protection.

"The only thing that went through my head was I'm going to be attacked, I'm going to be attacked, I'm going to be attacked, and I got attacked," said Remillard.

He said he is grateful for a neighbor who saw what was happening and was able to open the gate so Remillard could get out. He is also glad he had those cushions in his hands.

"Thank God I had the cushions because otherwise I would have got attacked and would have had nothing to defend myself," said Remillard.

Even still, Remillard said he was hit in the face and needed stitches at the hospital.

Michael Clark is the Region Four Wildlife Manager for DEC. He said wild animals can be unpredictable and shouldn't be approached, but what happened here is not common.

"Very rare, it's very rare for a deer especially to go after a human," said Clark. "Certainly not normal behavior, but it's not a normal situation for the deer to be in very small confines of a fenced in backyard."

Clark said deer are adaptable and are sometimes found in cities. He said this deer may have found somewhere to live nearby or may have just been passing through.

Captain Thomas Caifa said that DEC received a call Tuesday night about the attack. He said that an officer found the deer in a parking lot nearby. It was already dead.

"The deer wandered off from the scene and it ended up going into a gated enclosure with an eight foot high fence," said Captain Caifa, Regional Captain for Region Four. He said it appears the deer became stuck.

"Now the deer couldn't get out, started doing circles, hitting the fence and just stressing itself out until it expired," he said.

The deer was removed by DEC for testing.

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