Moraga works to educate people on coyote safety after 5 attacks in East Bay within 8 months

The coyote has since been euthanized

Friday, September 17, 2021
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Moraga is starting its coyote awareness education after a coyote attacked five people in an eight month time period in the East Bay.

MORAGA, Calif. (KGO) -- The town of Moraga is starting its coyote awareness education on Friday, after a coyote attacked five people in an eight month time period. They caught and euthanized that animal in March, and pledged to work on the relationship between wildlife and humans.

Volunteers with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife plan to talk to people in the Moraga Commons park about removing attractants for animals. That includes making sure trashcans are secure and that no fruit or extra pet food is left lying around.

RELATED: Wildlife officials using DNA testing to link coyote to 3 separate East Bay attacks

"Seeing wildlife in your neighborhood can be a positive and rewarding experience but we want to make sure people are aware of education to make sure it is a positive and safe experience," said Alex Heeren, a research scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

RELATED: East Bay mom goes after coyote that bit 3-year-old during walk

The program is called Wildlife Watch and is modeled after Neighborhood Watch. Two Wildlife Watch "Conservation Coaches" will engage with residents about safe behavior.

They have never done this in the Bay Area, but in other locations they have found that people do implement what they learn.

RELATED: Lafayette coyote biting linked by DNA to 4 other attacks in East Bay

"We have a collaboration with about a dozen cities in Southern California and people are pretty receptive. People who feed wildlife usually want to help, so again it is giving them the knowledge and information that they aren't helping wildlife. Feeding wildlife actually conflicts with the people and the wildlife," Heeren said.

The coyote in Moraga attacked five people from July 2020 to March 2021. Two of them are children. The victims suffered from bites but were not seriously injured.

RELATED: Coyote linked to 5 separate attacks in Contra Costa County caught, euthanized

Moraga Police and CDFW hope this is just the first step. They also eventually want to hold community meetings and eventually train volunteers to become Conservation Coaches and continue the education of how to co-exist safely with wildlife.