(NEXSTAR) – The same coyote is responsible for four attacks in California’s Bay Area, Fish and Wildlife said Wednesday.
The offending coyote bit four people in separate incidents between July and February.
Fish and Wildlife used DNA analysis to tie the rogue coyote to each of the incidents.
“[Fish and Wildlife] and allied agency partners have already started operational planning to locate and remove the offending coyote,” the agency confirmed by email. “It will be euthanized and tested for rabies.”
The most recent attack occurred on Tuesday in Moraga, California, when a woman was out walking with her 3-year-old. The coyote bit the child before the mom was able to disengage the animal. It ran off, and local law enforcement were unable to track it down.
Police did not provide details about the extent of the child’s injuries, but warned not to leave small children or pets unattended outside and to take extra caution during dusk and dawn, when coyotes are most active.
Coyotes are, by nature, fearful of humans, according to KeepMeWild.org, which is maintained by California Fish and Wildlife.
“However, if coyotes are given access to human food and garbage, their behavior changes,” the website reads. “They lose caution and fear. They may begin to harass domestic livestock and pets. They might threaten human safety. They might be killed.”
KeepMeWild.org offers the following tips to avoid a brush-in with a coyote:
- Do not feed or attempt to tame coyotes.
- Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting near your home.
- Trim ground-level shrubbery (to reduce hiding places).
- Know that coyotes are more active in the spring, when they are feeding and protecting their young.
- If followed by a coyote, make loud noises and, if that fails, throw rocks in its direction.
- If you witness a coyote attack, immediately contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife or local law enforcement.
Coyotes are members of the dog family and can be found in most places in North America. According to National Geographic, their population is thought to be at an all-time high.