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Coyote bites Bay Area grocery store worker in leg

Coyote
(Erica Evans / Los Angeles Times)

A coyote bit a grocery store worker in the leg in the fourth such attack in the Bay Area since April, a wildlife official said.

At least two of the attacks involved the same coyote. State officials are testing to see if this week’s bite was from that animal, which the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is hunting, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“It’s certainly within the realm of possibility,” said Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy. “We’re going to do our best to find out.”

The Diablo Foods employee took a break behind the grocery store in downtown Lafayette when the coyote bit him on the leg. He and a few co-workers scared it off, Foy said.

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A Fish and Wildlife official responded and took DNA swabs of the bite wound and samples of the employee’s pants to send to a Sacramento lab where they will try to develop a coyote genetic profile to compare to other bites in the area.

The attack is the eighth confirmed coyote bite this year in California and the fourth in the Bay Area.

On April 1, a coyote attacked a 6-year-old girl in Dublin Hills Regional Park, biting her neck and ear before her mother scared away the animal. On July 9, a 2-year-old boy was bit in the leg by a coyote near a restroom at the Moraga Commons park. On Dec. 4, a man was bitten in the leg by a coyote on the Campolindo High School track in Moraga, about a mile north of the park.

State officials compared the genetic profiles from the July 9 and Dec. 4 Moraga bites and determined the same coyote attacked both people.

Fish and Wildlife officials trapped and killed four coyotes near Campolindo High School in the weeks since the Dec. 4 attack, but the DNA did not match the “offending coyote,” Foy said.

Within 24 hours of pulling the traps, the grocery store worker was bit about a mile away from the high school, Foy said.

“This is definitely in the category of an unusual situation,” said Foy, adding that a single incident of a coyote biting a human is incredibly rare.


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