"When I walked up on that coyote, he looked at me and then he looked down, like he was ready to accept his fate," Fahy told The Dodo.
Animals caught in traps can wait days before they're found and killed - sometimes for their meat or fur, other times just for recreation. Some animals caught in traps try to gnaw off their own limbs out of desperation. "Traps are notoriously nonselective, whether it's an M44, a neck snare, a leghold trap, any animal that comes along could get caught," Fahy said. Endangered species and even people's beloved dogs can be injured or even killed because of indiscriminate traps.
The trap was set out by Wildlife Services, a branch of the USDA that kills tens of thousands of coyotes each year by trapping, shooting, snaring and poisoning them.
Warning: Graphic image below
The coyote Fahy found seemed to be determined to stay alive. There were some puddles of melted snow near him, which he appeared to have been drinking from, Fahy said: "He had been in the trap a long time, a week minimum."
Fahy also noticed a branch sticking up out of the ground beside him that was all chewed up.
"He'd been gnawing on it to relieve the pain," Fahy said.
As Fahy got closer, he noticed paw prints in the ground and the vestiges of smaller animals. "There were these small bones around him - we realized that a mate was bringing him food," Fahy remembers. "It's gut-wrenching. It haunts me to this day."