Coyote Mistaken for German Shepherd Puppy in Rhode Island Released Back Into the Wild

by Caitlin Berard
(Photo by Lynn Bystrom / Getty Images)

Earlier this year, a Massachusetts family was traveling along a busy road when they spotted a heartbreaking scene. An adorable German shepherd puppy was “wandering and distressed” near the road. Unwilling to allow the poor puppy to suffer alone, the family scooped him up and took him home.

After a few days with their new puppy, however, the family began to notice some strange behaviors. They soon realized that the puppy they kindly adopted wasn’t a German shepherd at all but a coyote!

Still determined to ensure the baby animal’s safety, the family called the Cape Wildlife Center, which then took the coyote pup in. It’s now been almost 6 months since the pup’s rescue and he’s finally old enough to return to the wild.

On Wednesday, the CWC released both the male coyote and his close friend and fellow rescue pup into the wild together, sharing the exciting news on Instagram.

“Look who is all grown up and ready for release!!” the wildlife rehabilitation center wrote. “The orphaned coyote who was mistaken for a German Shepard puppy earlier this year and received national attention is running free in the wild once again!”

“After 6 long months of rehab, this pup has made incredible strides,” they continued. “He is wild by all accounts and is exhibiting all of the correct behaviors and skills. Weighing in at just over 40 pounds he has a healthy appetite and has been increasingly active in the large outdoor enclosure.”

Wildlife Rescue Predicts the Coyotes Will Be Friends for Life

After ensuring that the coyote pup didn’t have rabies or other communicable diseases, they introduced him to his foster sibling. From then on, the pups were raised together in “as much of a natural upbringing as possible.”

Adorably, the baby coyotes bonded instantly and have remained close friends ever since. So close, in fact, that the Cape Wildlife Center predicts that they’ll stay friends in the wild, despite coyotes’ tendency to travel and hunt alone.

“[The coyote] was released today with a foster sibling who we paired with him since they were just a few weeks old,” the CWC explained. “She was also orphaned and was transferred to our hospital after receiving care at [the Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island].”

“The two became friends very quickly and have been inseparable ever since,” they continued. “Because they had each other as companions, they have remained wild and weary of humans. Releasing them as a unit will hopefully increase their survival rate in the wild. While some coyotes may choose to part ways after release something tells us these two may be bonded for life.”