Coyote Returns to the Wild

WildCare Was This Coyote’s Only Hope

As many of us know, coyotes are intelligent animals. They have figured out how to live among humans, and in most cases, they successfully navigate around people and our stuff without harm.

But sometimes things go wrong, and that’s what happened with this young male coyote.

He somehow ended up on an on-ramp to Highway 101!

Medical Staff examines a coyote at WildCare. Photo by Alison Hermance

WildCare admits an average of 6 – 8 coyotes per year. This young female had also been hit by a car. Photo by Alison Hermance

We assume he must have received a glancing blow from a vehicle, leaving him limping, terrified and disoriented.

Several drivers saw him cowering in the bushes, and fortunately one thought to call for help. A Marin Humane Society officer was dispatched to capture the coyote and bring him to WildCare.

One would expect a coyote in the Wildlife Hospital to be a very dangerous animal. Coyotes are among the larger species that we treat, and certainly they have sharp teeth. One would anticipate a snarling, snapping animal. But the reality is quite different… virtually every single coyote we have admitted to WildCare becomes meek and limp once he recognizes he’s trapped and can’t escape. Although of course our Medical Staff takes proper precautions and wears protective gear like heavy gloves when working with the animals, coyotes in care tend to blink forlornly instead of snapping.

This coyote was no exception, and his limp and quiet demeanor actually made diagnosing him more difficult. Was he too injured to stand? Or was he merely being a scared coyote? Medical Staff took full body radiographs (x-rays) to look for fractures, and did blood work and other diagnostic tests.

Coyote at WildCare. Photo by Alison Hermance

Our young male coyote is very unhappy with Medical Staff disturbing his den. Photo by Alison Hermance

Fortunately all tests came back negative. The coyote’s medical chart notes a few abrasions and some swelling of one of his hind legs, but nothing more serious than that.

The coyote was placed in one of our larger enclosures to rest and recover. (One of the reasons we’re so excited to be moving to our future new site is that it will allow much bigger and better housing for patients like coyotes! Learn more about WildCare’s impending move here…)

Fast forward two weeks, and this young coyote had taken full advantage of his time in the hospital! Notes in his medical chart all say that he “ate well” or “ate everything.” Sometimes all an injured animal needs is a quiet place to recover and a healthy diet for a few days or weeks, and WildCare gives him that place.

Coyote being released. Photo by Alison Hermance

Away he goes! Releasing healed patients is the BEST part of our job at WildCare! Photo by Alison Hermance

Finally Medical Staff determined that any residual swelling was gone, and the coyote had demonstrated (to hidden observers) that he could run and leap. It was time to return him to the wild!

Volunteers loaded the once-again timid coyote into a carrier and transported him to an open space area near where he had been rescued. As you can see in the video above, he was ready and willing to go, glancing back over his shoulder twice just to make sure he was really free once more.


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Injured coyote at WildCare. Photo by Alison HermanceWildCare is the only hope for an injured coyote like this one.

Without us, the young animal in the story above would most likely not have survived his brush with Highway 101. The coyote in this photo needed a second chance too. What a wonderful thing it is that we are here to save lives like theirs!

But WildCare couldn’t help injured animals like this one without the support of people like YOU!

Please give today to support the amazing work we do for injured wildlife, and your gift will be MATCHED!

A generous donor has offered to match all donations up to $10,000 until September 30, 2016.

Click to donate now and make a real difference in the lives of injured wild animals!