Friday coyote attack linked to spate of incidents involving a single animal

Photo by Rauschenberger via Pixabay

Contra Costa County residents near the Las Trampas Regional Wilderness — in Alamo, Walnut Creek and Lafayette — said in late 2020 there had been an uptick in coyote sightings — and in missing cats.

Another coyote biting was reported Friday in the Lafayette-Moraga area of Contra Costa County, police from the two cities said.

The latest case involved a man who was bitten across from the Kwik Stop convenience store on Golden Gate Way in Lafayette.

The man was interviewed by Contra Costa Animal Services and his clothing was collected for DNA testing, which showed that it was “the same coyote responsible for the other four biting incidents,” officials said in a news release.

The latest biting report was just three days after a child was bitten in an attack around 8:30 a.m. near the intersection of Campolindo Drive and Calle la Montana in Moraga.

Local agencies are working with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is the lead organization in the investigation of the biting reports and partners with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services.

A round-the-clock effort to remove the coyote is being conducted.

“A detailed survey of the surrounding terrain has taken place, including using game trail cameras and field tracking, to determine the specific areas of coyote activity and patterns,” officials said. “An extensive trapping operation has been implemented designed to catch the offending coyote.”

Personnel from the DFW or USDA will be stationed periodically in the area and are properly equipped to act if necessary.

Police in Lafayette and Moraga urge the public to report any coyote sightings. Moraga police dispatch can be reached at (925) 284-5010 and Lafayette dispatch at (925) 284-5010.

Officials advise those who see a coyote to make loud noises and use noisemaking devices such as a whistle or air horn, “and even throw rocks if necessary. The goal is to make the environment less hospitable for coyote activity and discourage them from becoming too comfortable around humans.”

Coyotes should never be fed.

“Please remember that coyotes are wild animals, and their behavior is unpredictable,” officials said. “Be aware of your surroundings when outdoors and do not leave small children or pets unattended outside. Special care should be taken at dusk and dawn when coyotes are known to be more active. Pet food should be brought inside at night, and trash lids should be secured.”

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