Two coyotes leave, one stays
This coyote pup is recovering after losing all its hair, and almost its life, to mange.
All grown up
Two orphaned coyote pups that arrived, so young their eyes were still closed, early this spring, have now grown and been released.
As release season continues at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, our two orphaned coyotes were the latest success story.
Staff don’t know what happened to the Uxbridge pups’ mother, but they were found abandoned behind a barn in Uxbridge, eyes still closed and too small to eat solid food.
After months of carefully keeping them hidden from visitors, dressing a designated volunteer to wear coyote “costumes” for feeding and then, as they grew older, keeping them in a far corner of the sanctuary, the duo of coyote pups are not habituated, remaining afraid of people and improving their chances of surviving the wild.
Proof of success is the pair was difficult to catch, clearly ready for the wild as they fled their human captors as staff worked to capture them in their outdoor enclosure and return them to the wild in the Uxbridge area. The sibling pups ran off together in the same direction, disappearing into the trees.
Following raccoons, squirrels, bears and more animals returned to the wild, the coyote release is another satisfying moment after a hectic year of feeding and cleaning up after more than 150 animals.
A third coyote isn’t going anywhere soon. A 2012 pup was found in August, emaciated and hairless by a local resident walking his dog, is slowly recovering from mange, a skin parasite that is usually deadly for wild animals. The resident called Aspen staff by cell, and staff were able to easily pick up the weakened pup, as it had no energy for struggle. After multiple treatments to kill the mange, fur is slowly coming back on the once hairless coyote, which has moved from an indoor enclosure where it fought to hang on to life by a thread, to an outdoor area where it will spend the winter, continuing to gather weight and strength throughout the winter.
If all continues to go well, that coyote will return to its natural habitat in 2013.
(These weekly articles are contributed by staff at the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary rehabilitates orphaned and injured wildlife with a mandate to educate the public towards a better understanding of local fauna.)