Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a long way from mountainous Colorado.
US coyote Zoe now calls Aspen Valley home.
Zoe, a coyote born captivity in the US, now lives at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary as an ambassador.
It’s a journey Zoe the coyote made to her new home here in Ontario.
With nowhere to go, Zoe faced euthanasia and her desperate caretakers called from Colorado.
If we could provide a home in our sanctuary, American officials would allow the move. Aspen staff worked closely with our own ministry officials, hoping to add an animal born and raised in captivity that would help represent our native species.
Born in captivity
Zoe was one of a litter born in captivity to two coyotes in Colorado. The parents were released into the wild, but the pups were too young and were hand reared. Unfortunately, Zoe was the only survivor and soon became imprinted on her human caregivers.
In an attempt to prepare her for life in the wild, Zoe was moved to another rehab facility in Colorado and introduced to another coyote. But by this time she wanted nothing to do with the other animal and was too habituated to be released and survive in the wild.
Colorado rehab staff searched for a permanent home, in a race before state officials made the difficult decision to euthanize Zoe.
It was down to the wire when Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary was contacted.
Staff immediately agreed to take Zoe and obtained permission from the Ministry of Natural Resources here in Ontario, to prepare the paperwork necessary to bring her from the U.S.
Two months went by before everything was in order, and staff eagerly awaited her arrival after the three-day car trip from Colorado.
She survived the trip with little obvious stress and enjoys the company of the staff in her rambunctious play.
Zoe has now been transferred to the enclosure that used to house Subira the lion, who ironically recently travelled to a large animal sanctuary in Colorado. Subira will live out her life among lions in the U.S.
Zoe will spend the rest of her life at Aspen Valley, acting as an ambassador in an effort to teach residents here there is no reason to fear coyotes and, as with any wild animal, if we respect that they live here we can co-exist. She is one of the permanent animals that can be seen when we open to visitors on Wednesdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. starting on May 20, until the Thanksgiving weekend.
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(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.)