A San Diego man was walking his dog last month when he stopped in his tracks after noticing what looked like a newborn puppy, but it turned out to be a baby coyote.
People reported that Dariel Walker, a representative of the San Diego Humane Society, said the man brought the puppy to his home. The Sacramento Bee reported on Tuesday that the man contacted SDHS March 22.
SDHS officials arrived at the man’s house and determined that the puppy was actually a coyote pup, which hadn’t even opened its eyes yet. It was taken to The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, a Ramona, California, animal sanctuary.
“It’s really difficult to tell the difference between a dog and a coyote pup, especially at just a few days old,” Lauren DuBois, Project Wildlife rehabilitation director, told The San Diego Union-Tribune.
“The pup was in our care for no more than 24 hours before it was transferred to the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center in Ramona, California,” Walker told People. “The pup will stay there until deemed ready for release back into the wild.”
Walker offered a tip on how to tell the difference between a newborn puppy and a coyote.
“The elongated snout, that’s the easiest way,” she said. “And, they’re just larger.”
Walker said that it’s very rare for a coyote pup to end up in the Humane Society’s care, but she said it’s not unusual for mothers to leave their babies as they transfer them to a new den, which could have happened in this case.
“If you come across a wild animal that appears to be orphaned or abandoned, we recommend waiting and observing before taking the animal to a wildlife rehabilitation center, like Project Wildlife,” Walker said.
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