CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (March 12, 2021) — A multi-agency team of wildlife management professionals and local law enforcement caught and euthanized the coyote that attacked five people in the Moraga/Lafayette area of Contra Costa County, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) announced.
This unusually aggressive coyote attacked a small child on July 9, 2020, an adult male on Dec. 4, 2020, another adult male on Dec. 15, 2020, another small child on Feb. 16, 2021 and another adult male on Feb. 19, 2021. All the attacks occurred within two miles of one another in a north to south Lafayette/Moraga corridor.
Personnel from CDFW, U.S. Dept of Agriculture – Wildlife Services, the Moraga and Lafayette police departments and Contra Costa County Animal Services have been working constantly to locate and remove the offending animal. On Thursday, evidence from CDFW’s wildlife forensics lab matched the DNA of this coyote to samples taken from each of the five victims.
U.C. Davis veterinary staff will conduct a rabies test. There is no current evidence to suggest the coyote is rabid but because of the severity of the disease it is standard operating procedure in an animal attack investigation such as this one. Rabies tests can only be done post-mortem.
Contra Costa County residents interested in learning more about living near coyotes can visit Keepmewild.org where there are helpful tips on how we can all better coexist with coyotes and other wild animals around us.
Personnel from the agencies involved wish to extend gratitude to the Contra Costa County citizens in the vicinity. Locals have overwhelmingly supported the effort to remove the dangerous animal. It is the sincere hope of the agencies that locals can recreate outdoors in the area again. The news should significantly reduced anxiety and help people know that outdoor recreation is still very safe.