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Aggressive Coyote Linked To Five East Bay Human Attacks Captured And Euthanized

MORAGA (CBS SF) -- An aggressive coyote, linked to five attacks on humans in the East Bay and the focus of an intense 16-day search, was captured and euthanized on Thursday, authorities said.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife said a U.C. Davis veterinary staff would now be conducting a rabies test on the coyote.

While there is no current evidence to suggest the coyote is rabid, it is standard operating procedure in an animal attack investigation to conduct a post-mortem rabies test.

DNA taken from the five victims' wounds all linked the attacks to a single aggressive coyote. Included among the victims was a three-year-old girl who was attacked as she walked with her mother along a neighborhood street in Moraga.

"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.

Padded leg hold traps were deployed with the owners private property with bait by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Other agencies involved in the search the 16-day included the police departments of Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda.

"Coyotes are very difficult to trap. They're very intelligent and have a reputation of being smart and it's well deserved," said Foy.

If you encounter a coyote, Foy says to remain calm, stay put, and avoid running away since it can trigger a chase.

Throwing rocks in the direction of the coyote could also help and prevent an attack.

Residents can also visit for information on coyote safety, including tips on how to reduce the potential for coyote conflicts.

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