I don't think I will ever forget reading a couple years ago about a coyote who was
chased from the woods into a nearby New York shopping center. Crouching in a store front where it seemed he had nowhere else to go, he was soon surrounded by barking dogs and hunters. I truly felt sorry for him, and I believe I felt some of his fear and despair as well.
Today on Care2 I read about a blind coyote mama. The writer -Laura Goodman felt that this coyote mama's story may help save others coyotes. I was anxious to find out how - while hoping this could be so.
I have never seen a coyote other than on TV or in pictures. And I probably never will see one as I do not live near any place where they are found. However their plight saddens me --as does the the plight of any animal who is struggling to survive. I have to admit though that I don't usually feel this way about reptiles generally who I find truly frightening. Just today I read on the internet about a mother lion doing battle with a crocodile so that she and her cubs could cross a river successfully. Emerged bleeding --nevertheless she and
her cubs were able to cross the river safely.
I often wonder why God made so many predators. I wish that He had made all animals including ourselves -- vegetarian like the horses and elephants. Yes, I wish that my dogs and cats were vegetarian as well. But wishing won't make it so, and some dogs have successfully been made vegetarian and Brambles in England even became vegan.
The coyote Laura was writing about had been blinded by a shot above her eyes. And she rightly remarked that it was a wonder that she had survived. But now she definitely was not well. Emaciated, she wondered for days in the Santa Ynez Valley of Southern California before falling into an empty 30 foot reservoir.
But on Feb. 22- Julia Di Sieno of the Animal Rescue Team found her. Di Sieno used a ladder to climb down where she found the coyote secreted in a crevice and in very poor condition. It was not only the shot to her head or falling 30 feet down -but now she was having breathing difficulties from having ingested rat poison. Di Sieno used her catch pole to try to pull her out-but this terrified her and she went into cardiac arrest.
Di Sieno felt she was dying and asked her assistants to lower down a gurney, a medical kit, blankets and towels. She then injected her with epinephrine to get the coyote's heart beating and was happy to see that she did raise her head. They then removed her from the reservoir and took her to a local veterinary hospital where her condition improved with the administering of fluids and vitamins. They gave her the name Angel.
And then to the surprise of the Animal Rescue Staff, they learned that she had been pregnant and she birth to four male pups. They would be returned to the wild when old enough. Though the California Department of Fish and Wildlife wanted to euthanize Angel, Di Sieno was successful in convincing them not to do so. Angel will now live the rest of her life in a wildlife sanctuary, and as Di Siena observed -- will pay it forward by helping to save the lives of other coyotes in trouble. Two of a kind these two-- a compassionate Di Sieno and a brave mother coyote. Di Sieno told the L.A. Times that she wants Angel to become a part of the rescue team's family as a surrogate
mother for young coyotes whom they may find in need.
And how did this cofounder of the nonprofit Animal Rescue Team come to be so caring and concerned about injured and abused wildlife? It all started when her father gave her a raccoon when she was 9 years old. She was hooked. As for the Animal Rescue Team, she told the L.A. Times that it runs on a shoestring budget, volunteer work, prayers and southern rock rhythms
issuing from a small radio on a patio table. She clearly has a sense of humor, but more importantly- a very big heart which probably encompasses any animal she finds suffering and in need.
Though coyotes will never win an animal popularity contest because they have killed pets and have attacked people, we must also recognize that they serve a useful purpose. She remarked that Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. They are also by nature fearful of humans. We should learn to try to co-exist with them
instead of killing them. We should take precautions like keeping pets and their food bowls inside at night and secure trash can covers.
Hopefully, we will heed Di Sieno's suggestions with the hope that coyotes can live their lives as God intended.