Another coyote sighting – but this one’s hurt

(video no longer available because of shutdown)

Toward the end of that video clip sent by a reader who lives just west of Morgan Junction, you can clearly see that the coyote in the clip is limping. Here’s a photo with a closer look at the coyote as it rests:


The reader tried calling the state Fish and Wildlife Department but couldn’t get through to anyone; it so happens that another reader had written us earlier this week about an injured coyote in what she described as “the Fauntleroy greenbelt” — not sure if it’s the same one — and while she did get through to the state, here’s what she was told:

Of course the Washington Fish and Wildlife said there is nothing they can do, we have to let nature take its course. Sad to say that as much as I do not like them in my yard, I felt really bad for the coyote, if it is serious he will likely die a slow death by starvation.

The Fish/Wildlife Department has a page with tons of info about coyotes and coexisting with them, but nothing about policy for dealing with ones that are hurt. We did find some information at the PAWS site advising calling in a “licensed wildlife rehabilitator” – the ones in this region are listed here; none are based nearby, and there’s no coyote-specific information to be found.

19 Replies to "Another coyote sighting - but this one's hurt"

  • d May 23, 2008 (11:20 pm)

    I think if someone were to call the Wildlife Center at Paws in Lynnwood and provide them with information about the location, they definitely know the right people to handle an animal like this…if they decide it should or could be handled.

    You might want to mention, if you do call PAWS, that there is this video they can view. That will be helpful for them to assess the poor guy’s condition. He might have something as simple as a sprain or could be an infection from a cut pad or broken nail. Lots of possibilities…but the fact that he is up and walking around and presumably seeking food is an indicator he is in pretty fair shape. Wild animals are often more resilient, dare I say stoic, than we might imagine.

    I had the fairly unique experience once years ago to transport a coyote from Lynnwood up to a rehab center on Lummi Island. I became quite fond of coyotes after I “bonded” with that critter in my car. Unique encounter with wildlife, for sure.

  • Kayleigh May 24, 2008 (5:31 am)

    “Let nature take its course.”? What do we pay these people for, anyway?

    I would call PAWS myself but I don’t know where the poor critter is. Would someone who knows please call PAWS at 425.787.2500 x817?

  • thriftwaygirl May 24, 2008 (9:18 am)

    I second that Kayliegh! If anyone passes by this little guy, PLEASE call someone to help.

    Can the person who sent in these photos please post some sort of map as to where the coyote was photographed? I live near the Morgan Junction and will be happy to find it myself.

  • v May 24, 2008 (9:48 am)

    Kayleigh, Thanks for the PAWS phone number. The person who answered the phone was very helpful and candid. Her recommendation is to monitor the coyote’s condition and that if the animal worsens becoming lethargic or surrounded by flies or some other drastic state, contact PAWS again. She commented that there are many animals in the wild who live with only three legs, so this animal should be able to survive while it mends. She further commented that injured coyotes will often remove themselves from the group while they mend to avoid being picked on by others.

    She further explained that capturing a coyote was extremely challenging and that PAWS doesn’t have the immediate resources, especially on the weekend. She said, too, that other animals, bears for instance, generate more sympathy and volunteers, which may explain the city’s reaction that it couldn’t help (despite the recording asking to report injured wildlife). Fish and Wildlife, she commented, would likely send someone to exterminate the animal.

    Again, many thanks for posting the phone number and extension.

  • Elizabeth May 24, 2008 (10:32 am)

    I know this sounds gross but if there is a possibility that if the poor thing is going to starve, and I know that “we” are not supposed to feed the coyotes “regular” food, is there a way to get the coyote some road kill? I KNOW THAT IS GROSS, but I have come to just love the coyotes in our neighborhood and would love to see what we can to as a community to help him heal.

    Would a local vet be willing to help?

  • d May 24, 2008 (11:04 am)

    I don’t think it would be a very good idea to feed this animal. But, folks could put out water bowls with little harm, I would think, while they maintain a large physical distance from the coyote.

    And, no, local domestic vets do not have the equipment to snag an animal like this, as far as I know.

    No one should try to handle or touch or even get near the animal, not that the animal would likely let anyone near it. But, don’t test the situation by approaching it – it will only stress out an already vulnerable animal.

    As hard as it is to do, leave the animal alone. Maintain a distance from the animal at all times. Feeding it is teaching the animal that humans are safe. We can’t teach a wild animal to trust humans like it is a domesticated animal.

    If we try to help them by feeding them while they are in the neighborhood, they become even more “habituated”. They need to stay wary of humans and we need them to stay wary of us.

    I know it is hard to do, believe me. But, ultimately it is the right thing to do.

    As v reiterated her conversation with Paws, if that animal is so obviously diminished and becomes lethargic and inactive and is drawing flies, then the proper experts can be sought out again to intervene in a medically appropriate manner with the proper equipment which will not habituate the coyote. But, again, do NOT approach it.

    Just be observant of the animal’s behavior if you run into it. And, then report it back to Paws.

    Like I said, I know it is difficult to stand by and wait and see, but it is what we must do.

  • thriftwaygirl May 24, 2008 (11:47 am)

    Thanks everyone for the great feedback. It’s just sad. :(

  • Kayleigh May 24, 2008 (5:35 pm)

    Thank you. So glad there are people like you all who care.

    Poor critter must feel scared. Here’s hoping the best for him. :-(

  • CO Transplant May 24, 2008 (5:57 pm)

    Who will care about the prey this coyote feeds on once it heals?

  • jiggers May 24, 2008 (6:15 pm)

    Leave the animal alone, they aren’t bothering you are they? It just wants its peace and quiet.

  • Neighbor May 24, 2008 (9:34 pm)

    Another wildlife rescue is Sarvey
    although they are in Arlington, I know they travel. I will check with them for a recommendation/second opinion and post when they respond. Let me know if it’s at the greenbelt on Barton near 40th SW and I’ll keep an eye as well. Maybe leave water and a little kibble. We’re not taming them – just helping nature. They struggle everyday with human “progress”… it’s the least we can do.

  • d May 24, 2008 (10:40 pm)

    neighbor –

    you really do need to talk to the people at sarvey or PAWS to help you understand that you might NOT be helping nature in the way you think you are.

    Are you feeding these coyotes now, or have you been feeding them?

    Even if they are not sick?

  • Neighbor May 25, 2008 (8:50 am)

    Sarvey called back this morning and confirmed PAWS/agency info. Tom added that coyotes are different than other hunters in that they are also scavengers, so they have a bit of an advantage and don’t always have to chase down their food. If s/he is hydrated and still mobile, they have a great capacity for survival. They also can provide medical care if the situation deteriorates.
    We have more good info and lots of caring people. Please keep us posted.
    (No, I do not feed them. That creates a false care situation. However, if it was a matter of continued life or death, I would not turn my back to get the right kind of help.)

  • d May 25, 2008 (10:11 am)

    Neighbor –

    thanks for the follow-up! Also, for others folks who don’t know about coyotes – the Dept. of Fish & Wildlife link WSB provided within the story has excellent information.

    If anyone out there IS feeding these beautiful wild animals, they need to read that article. You cannot make “pets” out of these creatures.

    Even though it is not in West Seattle, maybe I will just throw this out there because I can see there are many who deeply value the wildlife around us within our various neighborhoods.

    Maybe some of you would be interested in volunteering at the Paws Wildlife Center, or at Sarvey or one of the other listed LICENSED wildlife animal rehabilitators posted on this article. It is a wonderful experience on many levels and absolutely worth the commitment. I could go on and on and on about it. I highly recommend it.

  • Neighbor May 25, 2008 (8:20 pm)

    Thanks, d, for your valuable insight. Sounds like you have had some experience and it is much appreciated!

  • Steve Taylor June 9, 2008 (10:36 am)

    It is obvious many people feel sorry for the injured Coyote, as do I for all injured animals. However “CO Transplant” comment above has some merit to it. How do you feel for the cats (pets) and other smaller mammals Coyotes eat? Make no doubting mistake, City Coyotes eat smaller animals, including pet cats, pet / small dogs, etc. If you have ever seen what a Coyote does to it’s “prey”, especially a beloved pet, you may not feel quite so sorry for the injured Coyote. I myself would rather the injured Coyote would heal up, and simply move on. However I suspect the Coyote has moved or more likely even been born right where it wants to be. The City offers no natural predators to the Coyote, the Coyote is “top dog”. No domesticated dog large enough to kill a Coyote will likely catch one, and all smaller dogs stand no chance against a Coyote. Coyotes effectively make their entire living by killing (they are extremely good at it, one reason why they have never been domesticated). True Coyotes are omnivorous, however eating mammals is their food of choice. More often than not, only Coyotes in dire search for food eat otherwise. So, next time you see the cute little Coyote, think about the cute little pet he / she recently and or soon viscously killed and ate, so the cute little Coyote could keep itself alive for you to see the cute little Coyote…

  • A June 11, 2008 (9:41 pm)

    This is the same injured coyote spotted in our neighborhood several times and in our driveway. It has killed several cats. I wonder how those owners would feel about people trying to save this animal that lives in a city. How about “Those poor kitties”

  • WayneO June 27, 2008 (6:19 pm)

    I spotted a coyote running down S.W. Willow St., between 38th and 39 Ave. SW. It had something white in its mouth, like a tube, and was running down the middle of the street downhill and westbound. This was Wed., June 25th at about 5:45 am. Plenty of daylight that morning!

  • marco benedetti July 3, 2008 (8:05 am)

    Salvate il coyote
    Distinti saluti

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