The same coyote responsible for five attacks over the past several months in the Lamorinda area of the East Bay has been caught and euthanized, authorities said Friday.
A multi-agency team of wildlife management professionals and local law enforcement caught and euthanized the coyote, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed.
The first known attack involving the coyote happened back in July. Two more attacks occurred in December. The fourth and fifth attacks occurred last month.
In the most recent attack, the coyote bit a man Feb. 19 across from the Quik Stop in Lafayette, according to police.
DNA pulled from the victim's clothing matched the DNA in the previous cases, police said.
"They managed to isolate DNA from the microscopic traces of saliva right where the teeth penetrated the pants," said wildlife official Patrick Foy. "Sure enough they managed to come back with a coyote DNA profile that matched the attacking animal in the prior four incidents.”
"I have a bunch of children who live in town and they are of size where an animal would prey on them," said concerned parent Brian Rivera.
Close encounters with coyotes are happening more and more often. A Lafayette man recently captured a video of one strolling down a trail near the Lafayette Reservoir.
“I just happened to glance behind me and said ‘oh my God that’s a coyote,’” said David Shaffer.
He says the animal was not at all afraid of humans, he took out his cell phone hoping his images might help investigators looking for the serial biter.
“I’ve been walking to the reservoir for at least 25 years and I’ve never seen a coyote come that close to anybody at the reservoir,” said Shaffer. “So I was wondering if this might be the one attacking people.”
Though there is no evidence the animal is rabid, UC Davis veterinary staff will conduct a standard post-mortem rabies test on the coyote, officials said.
Those who wish to learn more about living near coyotes and other wild animals can visit Keepmewild.org.