Home NEWS Local Scene DNA Tests Confirm Rogue Coyote Responsible For Four Attacks In Lamorinda

DNA Tests Confirm Rogue Coyote Responsible For Four Attacks In Lamorinda

Photo: File

The coyote responsible for an attack on a Moraga toddler held in her mother’s arms Tuesday is the same animal responsible for three other high-profile biting incidents in Lamorinda in recent weeks, sources confirmed to News24/680 Wednesday.

DNA testing of the 3-year-old victim’s clothing matched samples taken from other, previous victims, sources said. State wildlife officials are making extraordinary efforts to confirm the identity of the responsible animal, up to and including swabbing local coyotes killed by cars in order to weed out or identify the culprit animal.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy confirmed that forensic analysis of samples delivered to CDFW’s Wildlife Forensic Laboratory in Sacramento “produced a complete profile from the attacking animal.”

“The coyote’s DNA profile is a match to the coyote responsible for the three other attacks that occurred all in the same vicinity between July and December 2020,” Foy wrote.

Aside from Tuesday’s attack on the toddler, a local man working out at Campolindo High School – not far from the scene of yesterday’s incident – was also bitten on the leg by the animal as he exercised. Another toddler was attacked at Moraga Commons Park and a worker was bitten at a Lafayette grocery store before he and colleagues could shoo the offending animal away.

All of the local incidents appear to be unprovoked attacks – highly unusual for a species known for its cautious scavenging and general aversion to humans. Some officials now believe the animal may have grown used to people and food it was able to scavenge from local businesses.

In one case, police in Moraga actually witnessed a local person hand-feeding an animal before the officers intervened, the animal’s benefactor apparently unaware of the implications of her actions.

With the need to track and capture or kill the offending animal apparent, wildlife officials will resume trapping operations in the general area of the attacks in coming days.

Both local police and wildlife officials expressed disbelief that a geographic area as small and confined as Lamorinda could now hold the dubious distinction of being home to half of the recorded coyote attacks on humans reported statewide in recent months.


  1. A serial offender. The most infamous coyote whose is not named Wile E. Let us hope that renewed trapping efforts will be successful in apprehending subject animal.

  2. There are some real know nothings all fired up about this on Facebook right now. I’m beginning to think people don’t know how to read.

  3. “Upon capture, it will be euthanized and tested for rabies” is all I needed to read. Yes — it needs to be killed, not relocated. Yes — a rabid coyote is much more likely to be aggressive. They’re also more likely be be out any time of day. Dusk and dawn is the norm. And yes — people have a right to be “fired up on Facebook” or anywhere else. It could easily kill a child or animal. It can bite (but probably not kill) an adult.

    Reading about the man in New Hampshire who strangled to death a coyote that tried to harm his young son (but didn’t – he bit the dad) is exactly what I’d do. So sick of people defending prey that need to be killed.

  4. Are people saying we’re not killers? That’s crazy. I’ve never regretted deleting my Facebook account shortly after signing up. Those Facebook people are scary every which way on both sides of the curtain

  5. Why isn’t there any discussion of rabies? If the authorities can do DNA testing to determine if the culprit is one animal, why can’t they test for rabies? Also, how long does it take for a canine to die from rabies? This animal has been biting people for about a year now, I would think it would take less than a year to die from rabies, so, hopefully, that isn’t the cause.

    • Rabies test is most reliably done with brain tissue not DNA, so the animal needs to be caught and killed. If they can’t find the animal then you need to start anti-rabies shots..

    • I’ve been discussing RABIES all along, but I was told “there’s no indication of rabies.” A coyote with rabies is much more likely to attack a human, and EVERY story I’ve read where a coyote has bitten several people the coyote was RABID .Rabies attacks the central nervous system.

      Everyone else seems to think it’s because the coyote has become too familiar with people. That could be true, but it doesn’t mean the coyote becomes aggressive – to the point where he’d bite adults and children four times. If he’s not rabid, he has a temperament problem. It’s one of the two.

      • Valid argument but one that cant be proven until the animal is found, killed and tested. There are different forms of rabies in coyotes and it makes individual animals act differently. Understand your argument but as far as I know there is no evidene to support it at this point. The animal is definitely not acting normally and I hope we’re able to determine why. Its all theory until it can be supported by scientific fact.

Leave a Reply