An unusually aggressive coyote that attacked five people in the Lafayette-Moraga area of Contra Costa County over the past eight months has been caught and euthanized, state fish and wildlife officials said.
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.
“It is the most aggressive behavior on the part of a coyote I’ve seen in my 24 years. I’ve near heard of a coyote attacking and biting five people.”Capt. Patrick Foy, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
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.
The fish and wildlife department has more information about coyotes on its website. 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.