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Coyote that bit five people, including two children, in San Francisco area is caught

The California Department of Fish and Wildife says animal captured in Moraga, California

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Saturday 13 March 2021 18:51 GMT
<p>A coyote in San Francisco that caused eight months of terror has been captured and euthanised, officials confirmed</p>

A coyote in San Francisco that caused eight months of terror has been captured and euthanised, officials confirmed

A coyote that attacked five people, including two children, in the San Francisco area has been captured and euthanised.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed on Friday that the animal was captured in Moraga, a suburb of San Francisco, after nearly eight months of causing problems throughout the community.

"It's such a relief for the community," Captain Patrick Foy of the Department of Fish and Wildlife said when confirming the news to the San Francisco Chronicle. "They can finally enjoy the outdoors again."

The coyote was responsible for biting five people, including one three-year-old girl and another child. All attacks occurred within two miles of each other between the suburbs of Moraga and Lafayette.

DNA results have confirmed that the coyote captured and euthanised was responsible for the five attacks over the last eight months.

The male animal's capture was in part due to California wildlife officials teaming up with the US Department of Agriculture and three local police departments in a 16-day search that involved setting padded traps with bait.

Next steps would involve veterinary staff at the University of California, Davis, conducting a rabies test on the deceased animal. Officials have said there was no indication that the animal had rabies, but this was standard procedure.

The coyote's antics first started on 9 July when he bit a two-year-old boy while in a parking lot near a park. The animal only let go of the child after the nanny hit him over the head with a bicycle helmet.

Officials hoped the incident would be an isolated case. But the animal then emerged again on 4 December and attacked a 45-year-old man while he was working out in a high school field.

Three other attacks subsequently followed: a male grocery store clerk on 15 December, a three-year-old girl on 16 February, and another man on 19 February.

Captain Foy revealed that several coyotes were captured and euthanised in the hunt for the culprit. DNA samples from each coyote, which were then compared to samples from the five victims, determined that officials did not have the correct animal.

"It's been a lot of 24-hour days and overnights and constant monitoring of traps and conversations with the public," he said. "People have no idea how much time and personnel hours we've expended."

"No one wants to kill a coyote as part of their job," the captain added. "But now that it's done, it's such a huge relief in our community."

Officials were hoping the capture of the animal would relieve concerned residents.

"It is the sincere hope of the agencies that locals can recreate outdoors in the area again with significantly reduced anxiety and that the community knows that outdoor recreation is still very safe," CDFW officials said in a statement.

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