A suburban couple in Illinois heard muffled cries coming from under their porch. So they decided to peel up the floorboards.
Four teeny tiny baby coyotes lay underneath — covered in mud, hypothermic and snuggled next to a fifth pup who was icy to the touch. Their umbilical cords were still attached.
The pups' mother was nowhere to be found. "Whether she was hit by a car or something else happened, we don't know," Dawn Keller, founder and director of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, told The Dodo. She believes the pups were only born the day before the rescue.
The four surviving newborns have been bottle-fed every few hours since Flint Creek received them last week. Soon, Keller said, they should open their little eyes ...
When they're weaned, they'll be introduced to a surrogate mama coyote in an outdoor enclosure who will prepare the pups for the wild.
Last year, Flint Creek raised a litter of six newborn coyotes who "were found crying, crawling across a golf course ... all hypothermic and all very critical," said Keller. Following several months of care, all six were successfully released.
Click here to help Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation, which treats over 3,000 animals a year.