(Coyote warnings at Moraga Commons Park. Credit Gado Images)
Is a vicious rogue coyote on the loose in Lamorinda? In a recent wave of attacks, coyotes have bitten people in Lamorinda on at least three different occasions.
Over the Summer, a young child was bitten at Moraga Commons Park. Prominent signs are now present at the park warning of coyote danger.
Two additional attacks occurred. One happened at Campolindo High School, when a person was bitten while using the running track at that location. And this week, officials confirmed that a grocery store worker was bitten while on a break behind the Diablo Foods supermarket in downtown Lafayette.
No one has died from the attacks, but several victims have required hospitalization.
Now, as the Mercury News reports, officials believe that the attacks may be linked. Using advanced techniques to analyze swabs taken from victims' bite wounds, officials have reportedly confirmed that at least two of the attacks were caused by the same coyote.
This is both encouraging and concerning. Overall, wildlife attacks are rare. Only 8 coyote attacks have occurred in the entire state of California this year. Most of the time, humans and wildlife coexist peacefully.
If the recent wave of attacks is caused by a single rogue coyote, that would suggest that overall, coyotes still pose little risk to people. Most coyotes are peaceful, and these attacks may be the result of a single rogue animal, not an overall trend of aggressiveness.
On the other hand, even a single rogue coyote on the loose is bad news. The coyote is early potentially aggressive and could continue to injure residents.
Officials aren't optimistic about catching the rogue coyote anytime soon, though. If the coyote is staying near populated areas, it will be challenging to safely cull the animal.
Residents should prepare for the possibility of more attacks if the recent wave is indeed thr result of a single rogue animal, and should take precautions including keeping pets indoors, and making themselves larger by wearing large jackets, placing children on shoulders, etc if they encounter a coyote.
Follow me here at News Break as I stay on the story of the Lamorinda rogue coyote.