Wildlife officials believe they may have trapped a dangerous coyote they say is responsible for attacking two people in the East Bay.

Officials say DNA samples from the bite wounds of the victims link the animal to the attacks.

The most recent attack happened on the track of Campolindo High School in Moraga.

Kenji Sytz was doing push-ups as part of his morning exercise routine on the track earlier this month when a coyote bit him unprovoked.

“There was a coyote latched onto my left calf,” Sytz said. “Tried to shake him off. He didn’t free up, so I had to punch him in the nose.”

California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officials collected saliva samples from Sytz’s ripped pants and found a link to a July coyote attack on a 2-year-old boy at a nearby Moraga park.

“Doing a little bit more DNA work, we managed to actually identify that one coyote was responsible for both attacks,” Patrick Foy with CDFW said.

For the past four nights, wildlife officials have been out trapping coyotes. While the first three weren’t the one they were looking for, they captured a fourth one Sunday night.

They say protecting the public is crucial.

“With an animal that is causing that type of aggressive attack on people, that’s something that we have to pay attention to,” Foy said. “It’s a threat to public safety. We have to remove that animal if we can.”

While coyote attacks are usually very rare, there have been three in the Bay Area in a matter of months. In April, a coyote attacked and bit a 6-year-old girl at a Dublin park.

Wildlife officials say they don’t know why there has been a spike in cases, but they acknowledge more people are spending time outdoors this year.

Sytz is hopeful the coyote that attacked him won’t get the chance to strike again.

“Hopefully they find this one sooner than later,” he said.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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