A young female coyote injured in downtown Grass Valley two months ago will be returned to the wild today after weeks of enduring captivity.
The coyote is currently caged at the Nevada City home of Lynn Archer, a member of Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release, a Nevada County nonprofit dedicated to the care and rehabilitation of injured and/or orphaned wildlife.
The wild animal is anxious to escape its enclosure, Archer said.
“It’s tough on a wild animal to be contained like this,” Archer said Friday. “She wants to be released.”
The coyote was originally spotted with a broken front left leg behind an auto and glass shop in downtown Grass Valley.
“It was bizarre to see a coyote downtown,” said Roger Waine of Grass Valley Animal Control. “It was obviously just a baby, and she was not the easiest animal to secure.”
Waine estimates it took about 40 minutes and considerable teamwork to corner the animal and secure it, despite the broken leg. Archer credits Waine for his humane treatment of the animal, she said.
“Most animal control people would have just shot it,” she said.
“We don’t do that,” Waine said. “Not when you have such excellent wildlife rehabilitation organizations. When we spot injured wildlife, we call them.”
After the young coyote was secured, it was taken to For The Love of Pets, a veterinary clinic in Grass Valley.
“She was in bad shape when we first got her,” said Archer.
On top of the broken leg, the animal had worms, was hungry and severely dehydrated, Archer said.
The veterinarians anesthetized the coyote, x-rayed the leg and fed it fluids along with a dose of antibiotics and pain medication.
The veterinarians saw the break was clean enough that rehabilitation was possible. The coyote was then transferred to the Mother Lode Veterinary Clinic, where orthopedic surgeons set the bone and implemented two screws and a splint.
The animal was lucky, Archer said.
“Had it been a bad break, she would have had to be euthanized,” she said.
Since the surgery, the creature has been kept in a 6-by-10-foot cage in Archer’s outdoor shed.
“She basically sits in that cage in my shed trying all day to figure a way to get out,” Archer said.
Coyotes are known as clever escape artists, Archer said.
In 2009, a coyote was hit by a Honda sedan, survived and rode 600 miles trapped between the fender and the engine of the car.
Daniel and Tevyn East, who assumed they had killed the coyote, discovered the animal when they arrived in North San Juan. The coyote was extricated and kept in a kennel, from which it escaped, Archer said.
The female coyote has not managed to escape and has been fed a diet of frozen mice, quail and high-protein dog food as she awaits her impending freedom, Archer said.
The animal has grown accustomed to Archer as the person who delivers food to her, but she remains wild to humans, a key stipulation to her being released, Archer said.
“She tolerates my presence,” Archer said. “She knows I am not going to hurt her. But she is not friendly toward me. She would not let me touch her. She is a totally wild animal.”
Today, Archer and other members of the nonprofit are scheduled to release the coyote back into the wild at an undisclosed location in Nevada County.
“She’ll probably think she has finally managed to escape,” Archer said.
“Believe me, there will be no gratitude on her part. And that’s a good thing.”
To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4239.
“Believe me, there will be no gratitude on (the coyote’s) part. And that’s a good thing.”
—— Lynn Archer,
member of Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release