MORAGA, Calif. (KGO) -- California wildlife officials announced on Friday that they have confirmed through DNA testing that a single coyote is responsible for three separate attacks on people in two East Bay communities.
One of the animal attacks sent a Moraga man to the hospital with a serious leg wound earlier this month.
Kenji Sytz recalls he felt the sharp pain in his leg as he was in the midst of an early morning workout at Moraga's Campolindo High School.
"From a push up position, I looked back and on my left calf was a coyote," Sytz says.
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Now, DNA testing shows the same rogue coyote is to blame for three separate attacks in Moraga and Lafayette.
"My take on that, I think it's crazy," says Sytz. "I think it's a good thing that you've got just one coyote out there that's not well or being overly aggressive versus many."
On July 9, a two-year-old child suffered a similar bite wound at Moraga Commons Park.
Then nearly five months later, on December 4, Sytz was attacked at Campolindo High School.
Eight days later, a third assault occurred on a grocery store employee in Lafayette, close to five miles from the initial attack in Moraga.
"The third attack that has occurred was right in the heart of Lafayette," says Captain Patrick Foy with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "It's a grocery store, surrounded by a CVS pharmacy, with an apartment building righ tin the back. A freeway in the front and nothing but people and strip malls all around."
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Bay Area wildlife expert Janet Kessler has told ABC7 that it is extremely rare for coyotes to attack people.
Kessler says something must have occurred, or some sort of negative interaction between the coyote and humans that set the animal off on its aggressive path.
State officials warn people to never feed any wildlife when out in nature.
California Fish and Wildlife tells us in the past two weeks, they've captured and tested four coyotes, but none has been a DNA match to the agressor so far.
East Bay police teams and Fish and Wildlife personnel are conducting extra safety patrols in the area, especially at night.
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Local residents are on high alert as well, like Delaney Warner, who saw a coyote just a day ago.
"We saw a coyote like pretty close to the trail, just getting food and he looked healthy," says Warner, "and a few people walked by and he didn't pay much attention, but we didn't walk anymore."
Wildlife officials using DNA testing to link coyote to 3 separate East Bay attacks
"From a push up position, I looked back and on my left calf was a coyote."
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