Closing chapter for combative coyote

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.

An unusually aggressive coyote that attacked five people in the Lafayette-Moraga area of Contra Costa County over the past eight months was caught and euthanized Thursday, state fish and wildlife officials said.

DNA testing on the coyote matched that found on bite victims, according to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

While there is no evidence the animal was rabid, UC Davis veterinary staff will be conducting rabies tests on the carcass as a precaution.

“It is the most aggressive behavior on the part of a coyote I’ve seen in my 24 years,” said Capt. Patrick Foy of the state wildlife agency. “I’ve near heard of a coyote attacking and biting five people.”

Last year, about a dozen coyote bites were reported statewide and three of them were in Moraga, Foy said.

In the most recent local attacks, a man was bitten Feb. 19 across from the Kwik Stop convenience store on Golden Gate Way in Lafayette and on Feb. 16, a child was bitten near the intersection of Campolindo Drive and Calle la Montana in Moraga.

In attacks reported last year, a small child was bitten by the coyote at Moraga Commons Park in July and a runner was attacked at the Campolindo High School track in December.

Another man was also attacked in December last year in a separate incident.

All the attacks occurred within two miles of one another and all of the victims reported that the coyote appeared to be on its own and not accompanied by others of its species, Foy said.

The offending coyote was captured in a padded leg hold trap near Calle la Montana Thursday, just north of Campolindo High School, where it was shot by personnel from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Prior to its capture, the animal had been the subject of an intensive hunt by teams from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Moraga and Lafayette police departments and Contra Costa County Animal Services.

Anyone interested in more information about coyotes can visit www.keepmewild.org.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to the Moraga Police at (925) 888-7055, ext. 0 or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at (916) 508-7095.

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