Pennsylvania Shelter Finally Identifies Mysterious Animal’s Species

by Matthew Memrick

A Pennsylvania shelter finally identified a mysterious animal’s species, but the mammal escaped and is still missing.

Through Facebook, officials at a wildlife hospital determined that the animal was 100 percent coyote through DNA testing. Fox News reported that Wildlife Works officials initially thought the sick animal was someone’s pet.

Mount Pleasant/Youngwood is 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. 

Animal Rescue Outfit Cares For Coyote Before Escape

According to Fox 8, this mysterious Pennsylvania animal made its way to a woman’s front door in Fairfield Township in mid-January. The mammal’s gaunt figure made its identification almost impossible.

Christina Eyth told McClatchy News that she kept the animal in her basement as it was “freezing… skittish and scared.” 

Area residents circulated pictures of the animal on social media. It had lots of fur missing when discovered. Many suspected it was either a dog or coyote.

Wildlife Works picked up the animal. The Pennsylvania group treats deer, raccoons, mammals, and other rabies-prone species. After mange treatment, the plan was to re-release it back into the wild

In one post, Wildlife Works wrote, “We are still waiting for the results of the DNA sample to come in. He is doing much better now and is much more alert than when he came to us last week. He is still not showing extreme signs of aggression but is more on the defensive side.”

Wildlife Works posted a picture of the animal, hoping someone would recognize it if it were their dog. The group did not say if the animal had rabies, but you’d think they would have said something was up with all the media coverage.

Unfortunately, the family “dog” reunion would never happen.

Coyote Escaped, Tests Confirmed Species

On Jan. 27, the coyote escaped the facility by chewing through a window seal and screen. A facility worker found scratch marks and other building damage.

News reports said that the facility posted “WORST NEWS EVER!!!!!!!” when announcing the coyote’s escape. The group later deleted the Facebook post.

Since the escape, hospital workers put out traps. They also left barn doors open and put out hay, hoping the coyote would find its way back. But the animal has not been recovered.

“Still no sightings, though, thinking he is long gone,” Wildlife Works official Morgan Barron told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

On Monday, the center announced the DNA results came back, confirming the coyote’s identification. Wildlife Works limited Facebook users from commenting on the post.

Police warned residents to call them if they spotted the coyote. Also, they asked residents not to approach it but to call Wildlife Works at 724-925-6862.

One Twitter user, @justplncate, joked that “I could have sworn it was a House Elf.” Other social media commenters loved that the animal escaped.