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Coyote injured in illegal jaw trap returns to wild

RAMONA – A coyote, caught in an illegal jaw trap on a residential property in the City of San Diego, returned to the wild this afternoon, March 10, after three weeks in care with San Diego Humane Society's Project Wildlife team.

The adult female was rescued by San Diego Humane Society's Humane Law Enforcement on Feb. 17, after she was found in the Skyline neighborhood dangling on a chain link fence from a jaw trap attached to her left front leg.

Humane Officers rushed her to San Diego Humane Society's Ramona Wildlife Center, where Project Wildlife's medical team provided pain medication, took X-rays and tended to her wounds. The coyote had suffered soft tissue damage to her lower leg due to the trap, but fortunately, no fractures or permanent damage.

While under anesthesia, veterinarians also noted the coyote needed significant dental care, including a tooth extraction, which was most likely caused by her trying to free herself from the trap.

The coyote was released back to the wild in a greenbelt area not far from where she was found. "When she first came in, we didn't think she was going to make it," said Andy Blue, campus director of San Diego Humane Society's Ramona Wildlife Center. "Typically, animals caught in these awful traps have such extensive damage that they are unable to return to the wild and fend for themselves."

San Diego Humane Society's Humane Law Enforcement is investigating this as felony animal cruelty. "While we can't comment on the specifics of this case, the public should know that these traps are illegal," said Lt. Regina Price with San Diego Humane Society's Humane Law Enforcement. "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."

If anyone suspects animal cruelty or neglect in their neighborhood, they are asked to report it to San Diego Humane Society by calling 619-299-7012 (press 1 to report animal abuse).

San Diego County is one of the most biologically diverse areas in the United States with the greatest number of endangered species. People from all over the county bring wildlife patients to San Diego Humane Society's Project Wildlife program for rehabilitation and care.

Each year, SDHS gives nearly 13,000 injured, orphaned and sick wild animals a second chance. In 2020, SDHS announced the Ramona Wildlife Center, where they specialize in caring for native apex predators and birds of prey, including hawks, owls, eagles, coyotes, bears, bobcats and, under special pilot authorization, mountain lions.

Submitted by the San Diego Humane Society.


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