CALIFORNIA—The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, an affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States, was contacted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) last month after a female coyote with a tube around her neck had been observed by a San Diego land owner. It is believed that the coyote had been hunting around a construction site within her territory and got the tube stuck while chasing prey.
To assist in helping the animal, the land owner set up digital cameras which capture pictures of animals after they cross infrared beams in front of the device. The conclusion was that the tube itself was not causing any irritation or adverse effects at the time. As these sightings were at the start of coyote breeding season, she was suspected of already having had a litter of pups which was evident in the pictures. There was also no suggestion of pain or suffering and CDFW decided that any attempts to capture her and remove the tube should be delayed until her pups were weaned, but monitoring her would continue.
Last week, CDFW contacted The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center again with follow up photographs showing that the female coyote had been bleeding and developed swelling as a result of the placement of the tube.
Matt Anderson, director of The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, said: “Given this new information, we decided it was imperative to attempt to save this adult female coyote with the hope that her mate would continue to fend for their new offspring. In cooperation with the land owner, staff from the Wildlife Center placed a baited live trap on her property hoping to capture the injured coyote. Although coyotes are typically difficult to capture, the live trap was re-set by our staff over several consecutive nights.”
The coyote was spotted by the landowner several more times and only once attempted to enter the trap; a raccoon was also interested in the trap on the same night and the landowner observed a small altercation which she believes left the coyote reluctant to enter the trap again. The Wildlife Center staff visited the property after sunset to be prepared to net the coyote if she appeared again, which she did not. After several days, the landowner asked the Wildlife Center to remove the trap.
“If and when the female coyote is caught, we will immediately transport her to our Wildlife Center to properly remove the tube from around her neck. We will perform a complete medical assessment and treat her accordingly. It is our hope that she can be rehabilitated with us and that we can subsequently release her back into her native habitat,” added Anderson.
In addition to specializing in the rehabilitation and release of coyotes, the Wildlife Center provides protection and care for all native predator species (more than 800 per year) when orphaned, injured or suffering from a variety of other ailments. The 13-acre facility has helped more than 7,000 animals since 2005 when they became an affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States. View more information and to support The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center.