- A hiker in California found what he believed was an abandoned puppy.
- They brought it to the San Diego Humane Society.
- Surprise: It was actually a baby coyote.
- The animal is being taken to The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, a rehabilitation center for animals in the area.
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It seemed harmless enough.
Last month, a man went on a hike with his dog in a canyon near his home when they stumbled upon what the hiker believed to be an abandoned puppy. So the dog owner didn’t hesitate to pick up the newborn and take it home with him.
He called the San Diego Humane Society to come to examine the animal. But when officials arrived they delivered the news: the dog wasn’t a dog at all. It was actually a young coyote. Surprise!
In fairness to the hiker, young coyotes can apparently look like dogs, experts say.
“It’s really difficult to tell the difference between a dog and a coyote pup, especially at just a few days old,” Lauren DuBois, the director of Project Wildlife, told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
After the animal’s real identity was revealed, the young coyote was taken to the San Diego Humane Society.
Then, it was taken to Project Wildlife for medical care. Ultimately, the animal was taken to Fund for Animals Wildlife Sanctuary, which rehabilitates animals before returning them back to the wild.
DuBois told the Union-Tribune that the animal couldn’t be immediately returned to the wild because coyotes often move their dens. She suggested that the mother coyote could have been moving her den when the hiker stumbled upon the coyote and took it home.
When the animal is ready, she said, they’ll bring it back to roughly the same region it was found.
And if you’re curious, Dariel Walker, a spokesperson for the San Diego Humane Society, told the Sacramento Bee there’s one surefire way to tell a dog and a coyote apart.
“The elongated snout, that’s the easiest way,” Walker said. “And, they’re just larger.”
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