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DNA may link coyote that bit little girl to at least 3 other attacks

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    MORAGA, CA (KPIX) — A coyote that attacked and bit a child walking with a parent in a Moraga neighborhood Tuesday morning may be responsible for other recent attacks in the area.

Moraga police said the 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, who identified herself as Jackie, was able to fend off the coyote and it ran away, police said. It was last seen running north on Calle La Montana. The girl, named Callie, 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!”

Police, Moraga-Orinda Fire, and Contra Costa County Animal Services units responded to the area and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was also notified, police said.

“I am very shaken up, as is Callie,” said Jackie. “It’s very scary. I never thought a coyote would attack when a child is right next to their parent.”

After the attack, neighbor Beth Chang snapped a picture of the coyote casually strolling around the neighborhood.

“He felt he belonged like everybody else, walking down the street like a citizen,” said Chang.

Police and animal control have maintained a heavy presence in the area looking for the coyote that isn’t afraid of humans.

It was yet not known if the coyote is the same one responsible for previous attacks in the Lamorinda area.

“This is about the fourth one in the area since July,” said Moraga Police Chief Jon King, who said evidence was collected for an animal DNA test.

“Using swabs, they were able to swap the area of the wounds and collect the clothing the child was wearing and those are being transported to the Department of Fish and Wildlife Laboratory in Sacramento,” said King.

Through DNA evidence, California Department of Fish & Game officials say they have connected three of the attacks to one coyote and they fear the 3-year-old bit Tuesday is its latest victim.

As for Chang, she had a golf club in hand during her evening walk Tuesday night.

“As I was leaving the house my son said be careful, maybe you shouldn’t go out so I brought something just in case,” says Chang.

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 information on coyote safety can be found at

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