MORAGA (CBS SF) — A coyote that attacked a 3-year-old girl walking with her mother along a neighborhood street in Moraga has been confirmed to be the same coyote responsible for a series of attacks on humans in the area.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) said forensic analysis of evidence from Tuesday’s attack produced a DNA match to the coyote responsible for three other attacks in the Lamorinda area between July and December 2020.READ MORE: Atmospheric River: Parts of San Mateo County Pummeled with Heavy Rain, Flooding
The CDFW along with other allied agencies have started operational planning to find the coyote, the agency said.
Moraga police said Tuesday’s attack happened at about 8:30 a.m. near the intersection of Calle la Montana and Campolindo Drive. A woman was walking with her three-year-old daughter and her other child in a stroller when a coyote attacked and bit the three-year-old child without warning, police said.
The mother was able to fend off the coyote and it ran away, police said. The girl suffered three bite wounds across her back, buttocks and legs.
“I had a stroller with the baby and I heard her scream! I turned around, she was right next to me and there was a coyote biting her,” said Jackie. “I screamed and yelled and the coyote retreated but it didn’t go far. I kept screaming and yelling, waving a blanket. It would come right back at us, leave and come right back at us and it was not scared off by me at all!”READ MORE: UPDATE: Atmospheric River Drenches Northern California, Setting Some Rainfall Records
“It’s obviously abnormal that it’s biting people – that’s not typical behavior. That in and of itself is concerning,” said Sgt. Alana Weissman of Contra Costa County Animal Control.
“They’re so smart, they have a very well earned reputation for being intelligent animals that are cunning,” said Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “They have much better than other wildlife, adapted to human encroachment very well.”
Experts advise that coyotes can be unpredictable, and that if you are followed by a coyote, make loud noises to shoo them away or throw rocks in the animal’s direction if that fails. 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.MORE NEWS: UPDATE: Streets Flood in San Rafael, Mill Valley as Wild Storm Lashes Bay Area
More information on coyote safety can be found at keepmewild.org.