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Trickster Coyote Cheats Death, Surprises Rescuers With Litter

Pulled back from the brink of death, blind coyote survives to give birth to five pups, astonishing rescuers in California.
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Blinded by a bullet, bleeding and near death from starvation, the emaciated coyote went into cardiac arrest as she was being lifted from the bottom of the dried-out reservoir at Santa Ines Mission, California, that she had tumbled into as she gasped for air.

The coyote that has since been named Angel, had been shot and was blind in both eyes, her rescuers discovered via X-ray. A month after being rescued—on March 23—out popped five puppies. 

Licensed rescuer Julia Di Sieno was the one on the scene when the coyote went into cardiac arrest.

"She was dying,” Di Sieno told the Los Angeles Times.

She gave the animal a shot of epinephrine and started chest compressions, which veterinarian Sheri MacVeigh of Solvang Veterinary Hospital said probably saved its life. Leading up to the rescue, the wounded coyote had “apparently wandered for many days, even weeks, in the Santa Ynez Valley until she fell into the reservoir,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Besides being an inspiring survival story, with a happy ending to boot, Angel’s tenacity is in keeping with the coyote’s mythological status in many Native cultures.

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“Like real coyotes, mythological coyotes are usually notable for their crafty intelligence, stealth, and voracious appetite,” says the website Native Languages, while noting that the roles vary from tribe to tribe. “In some Native American coyote myths, Coyote is a revered culture hero who creates, teaches, and helps humans; in others, he is a sort of antihero who demonstrates the dangers of negative behaviors like greed, recklessness, and arrogance; in still others, he is a comic trickster character, whose lack of wisdom gets him into trouble while his cleverness gets him back out. In some Native coyote stories, he is even some sort of combination of all three at once.”

Di Sieno, executive director of the Animal Rescue Team (which she also co-founded), is hoping to keep Angel alive to serve as surrogates for other coyotes in need of rescue. California has rules against that, so she is working with state officials to make it happen. It’s the least she can do, given Angel’s will to live.

"What this animal endured is beyond comprehension," Di Sieno told the Los Angeles Times. "This coyote put up a good fight, and I fought to keep her alive.”

Read the full story, Mama Coyote, Blinded by a Bullet, Is Alive Thanks to Animal Rescuers, in the Los Angeles Times

Photo: Katie Falkenberg/Los Angeles Times via AP

The rescued coyote dubbed Angel, who came back from the brink of death to deliver five healthy puppies.