HomeOutdoorsNewsCoyote Returned to Wild After Suffering Illegal Trap Injury in California

Coyote Returned to Wild After Suffering Illegal Trap Injury in California

by Caitlin Berard
Coyote Similar to Individual Injured in California
(Photo by Pierre Longnus via Getty Images)

Back in February, California wildlife officials rescued a coyote from an illegal jaw trap on a residential property. After weeks of treatment, the now-healthy animal has returned to the wild.

The incident occurred on February 17, when San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife discovered the coyote in a Skyline neighborhood, the injured animal “dangling on a chain link fence from a jaw trap attached to her left front leg,” the SDHS said in a statement.

Officials rushed the coyote to California’s Ramona Wildlife Center, where the resident medical team began treatment. After performing X-rays, the SDHS discovered that, thankfully, the adult female’s injuries didn’t extend beyond the soft tissue.

Though her external injuries were severe, she had no fractures or permanent damage. As a result, she could without a doubt return to the wild after treatment and recovery.

“When she first came in, we didn’t think she was going to make it,” Andy Blue, campus director of SDHS’s Ramona Wildlife Center said, per Fox 5. “Typically, animals caught in these awful traps have such extensive damage, they are unable to return to the wild and fend for themselves.”

With the coyote under anesthesia, the California medical team also performed significant dental work, including a tooth extraction. Experts believe this injury most likely occurred in the animal’s desperate attempts to free herself from the trap.

California Wildlife Officials Investigating Coyote Trap Incident as Felony Animal Cruelty

After three weeks of care with the California Humane Society’s Project Wildlife team, the coyote returned to the wildlife. Officials released her in a greenbelt area close to where they initially found her.

San Diego Humane Society’s Humane Law Enforcement division is currently investigating the incident as felony animal cruelty. Hunting is by no means illegal in California. On the contrary, with the proper licenses, outdoorsmen can hunt deer, elk, bear, pronghorn antelope, and bighorn sheep, just to name a few.

The specific type of trap in which the coyote was caught, however, poses a serious safety hazard – not just to California wildlife but to humans as well, especially in a residential area. As such, the SDHS isn’t taking the situation lightly.

“While we can’t comment on the specifics of this case, the public should know that these traps are illegal,” said SDHS Lt. Regina Price. “Not only are they extremely inhumane, anyone can get caught in them — children, pets, and wildlife. There is no excuse for placing them in the community.”