Wild Coyote Was So Scared Of People He Tried To Hide Behind A Chain-Link Fence

All he wanted was to go back home where he belonged — and some kind people helped him do just that.

Coyotes tend to have a bad reputation — in some places, there are even contests to see how many coyotes people can kill — but they're fascinating animals who are actually quite shy and scared of people, and hardly ever aggressive. 

But it was still a shock for people at an elementary school in Toronto to spot a wild coyote in the schoolyard. People chased him and he ran, terrified, to nudge himself between a building and a chain-link fence.

Students were ushered inside, away from the coyote, while authorities arrived. And even though one officer carried a rifle, the coyote didn't even need to be tranquilized to be removed from the area. Officers came with nets ready to catch him, but instead he just sat there while people extended a pole with a collar and put it around his neck.

Just as people were scared by the sight of him, he seemed exhausted and scared after being so close to people.

Sick coyote found in schoolyard

The authorities brought the coyote to Toronto Wildlife Center (TWC), where he was treated for some wounds on his legs. He also was discovered to have a mild case of mange — and the wildlife rehabilitators were happy to help him. A photo posted by TWC garnered many comments about just how gorgeous he was, despite his fear and sickness.

"He is handsome," Nathalie Karvonen, director of TWC, told The Dodo. "The injuries are not terrible with this coyote, compared to some we’ve seen before, so we’re optimistic," she said soon after his transfer in October.

Sick coyote found in schoolyard in Canada

The coyote soon calmed down enough to be moved to an outdoor enclosure where rescuers could keep an eye on his recovery. But it's important that people don't get too close to wildlife while trying to help them. If they do, there is the danger of what's called "imprinting," which occurs when a wild animal becomes too accustomed to people during rehabilitation.

Sick coyote getting help from wildlife rescuers

"Coyotes are very scared of people, so we try our best to minimize interaction with them," Karvonen said.

In the outdoor enclosure, it soon became clear that the coyote was desperate to get back to the wild. "He was frantic to free himself, climbing and jumping at the chain-link fencing," Karvonen said. So his rescuers took the hint. "We opted to release him."

A few seconds was all it took for the wild guy to bound back into the forest. His rescuers were sure to get the special moment on camera.

You can help coyotes and other kinds of wildlife in need by donating to TWC or sending some supplies from its wish list.