This is perhaps one of the greatest animal survival stories you would hear. In February, Julia Di Sieno of the Animal Rescue Team in Solvang, California, received a call on their hotline number from a person who told them about a coyote that was found injured at the bottom of an empty, dried-up reservoir.
Responding to the call, the team of rescuers found that the animal was at the bottom of the stone-and-mortar reservoir and was evidently badly injured. The coyote had found refuge in a small crevice at the bottom of the reservoir. The rescue team had to climb down a steep wall in order to reach the animal. Di Sieno and her team took up the challenge and eventually managed to climb down and reach the animal. What they saw there was disturbing to say the least, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Julia found that the coyote was shot between her eyes, on the forehead — as a result of which she had gone blind. The animal was breathing laboriously with a gurgling sound coming from its wind pipe each time the coyote took a breath. The animal was also bleeding from its posterior and was also badly emaciated. Simply put, the coyote did not seem to have any chance of survival.
Di Sieno and her team quickly started the procedure to haul the animal up and give it immediate medical care. There were however a few tense moments. Sieno recalls,
“As I was pulling her out of the crevice with my catch pole, she went into cardiac arrest. She was dying.”
Di Sieno asked her assistants to lower a gurney that contained her emergency medical kit and ordered them to remain silent as the noise made by them could stress the animal. As the coyote went into cardiac arrest, she gave her a shot of epinephrine that helped the heart of the coyote beat back into rhythm. The animal was also provided emergency CPR to which the coyote responded by lifting her head few inches off the ground.
After it became clear that the coyote was stable enough to be moved, the animal was hauled up and put in the back of a pickup truck which took the animal to a local veterinary hospital where it was given intravenous fluids and vitamins in an attempt to revive the coyote.
After a thorough examination that followed, it was discovered that the animal was confirmed blind and that someone had shot her between the eyes. The coyote is believed to have wandered for several weeks before ending up in the reservoir, possibly exhausted. However, the most significant discovery was yet to come. The vets later found out that the coyote, now named Angel, was pregnant.
For over a month, the coyote was taken care of and nursed back to health. On March 23, Angel gave birth to four healthy puppies.
The mother and her puppies are doing well.
Sieno, moved by what the coyote endured, calls Angel “a courageous girl and most exceptional mother.”
“What this animal endured is beyond comprehension,” Di Sieno added. “When she had puppies, I didn’t know whether to cry in sadness or for joy.”
Di Sieno confirmed that the baby coyotes would be cared for until they are mature enough to be released in the wild. However, for Angel, she has other plans. The blind, feisty coyote is all set to become a member of the rescue team family and would perform the role of a surrogate mother for future young coyotes that would be rescued by them.
“I want Angel to become a member of the rescue team’s family as an imprintable surrogate mother for young coyotes that come our way.” Di Sieno says.
However, she would first need to persuade the state Department of Fish and Wildlife not to euthanize Angel. This is because in California, possession of a coyote is illegal unless permitted by the state. A special permit would also be required to keep a coyote on the premises indefinitely.
Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan, when asked about the coyote, said, “We are working to find a reasonable solution as quickly as possible.
“The department appreciates Julia and the rescue team’s efforts to save this coyote and other wildlife. We’ve worked closely with her over the years and appreciate her passion for rescuing imperiled wildlife.”
[Image via Animal Rescue Team, Inc./Facebook]