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Sat, Oct. 19

Coyote pup on road to recovery after chance encounter

This 12-week-old baby coyote is being rehabilitated and eventually will be returned to the wild at the Runnin’ W Wildlife Center in Cornville. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

This 12-week-old baby coyote is being rehabilitated and eventually will be returned to the wild at the Runnin’ W Wildlife Center in Cornville. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

CORNVILLE -- A 12-week-old baby coyote drank milk from a metal bowl at the Runnin’ W Wildlife Center.

His large ears propped up as he heard voices in the other room.

No one was allowed in the recovery room with the coyote because it eventually will be released in the wild, according to Runnin’ W Wildlife Center owner Billy Harvey.

The pup is following the same track that 300 other animals have taken through the rehab facility in Cornville so far in 2019.

People most often bring in injured birds to the rehab facility, and Harvey works directly with the Arizona Game & Fish Department to treat, rehab and return birds and small animals to the wild or find them homes in other facilities.

But when people find a small animal like this coyote, or a mountain lion or bear, they should call Runnin’ W or Arizona Game & Fish and they will go rescue it.

This coyote was infested with fleas and parasites, Harvey said.  The coyote was standing in a field and most likely lost its mother. “We’ve been de-worming it and it’s more stable,” said Harvey.

“I’ve never seen so many fleas on an animal,” said Veterinarian Cinda Rajkovic, DVM, when she and her wife, Chris, found the dehydrated coyote in Camp Verde. “He should have weighed at least double of what he weighed. He only weighed nine pounds. He was trembling with what looked like seizures, but, hopefully, they went away.”

Rajkovic said they retrieved a fishing net and put it over the top of the disoriented coyote and then brought the coyote to Harvey’s facility.

“The mother is out there somewhere, who knows?” Harvey said. “It would still be with the mother at this point. The reason is was separated, more than likely is because the parasite load that it had.”

One week later, “He’s solid,” Harvey said of the baby coyote’s improving health. “That’s why we don’t want to imprint him, and that why people can’t see or visit him.”

For photos and video of the coyote, Harvey placed a GoPro camera in the recovery room and the door was shut as the young coyote came out of its box and drank milk and eventually licked the GoPro.

The next step for this young coyote is a transfer to the Southwest Wildlife Center where the pup will be put in a herd and eventually released into the wild, Harvey said.

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