Santa Maria man helps rescue coyote with head stuck in jar - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

Santa Maria man helps rescue coyote with head stuck in jar

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A California coyote is recovering after having its head stuck in a plastic jar for weeks.

As of Monday, the plastic jar is off thanks to wildlife rescue groups and the Santa Maria man who helped capture the coyote.

Gold Country Wildlife Rescue of Placer County worked tirelessly for two weeks to find and rescue the coyote in the community of Cool.

"People were seeing it and getting pictures of it and videos of it, but no one could get close to it," said Luis Escobar, a Santa Maria resident who had followed the rescue efforts online.

The wild animal was repeatedly dodging help. Rescue volunteers were growing tired and worried.

"We were all very concerned that she had already died or was down somewhere dying," said Sallysue Stein, president of the board of directors at Gold Country Wildlife Rescue.

Escobar was in the area running trails and thought he and his running partner may be able to help.

"Maybe we'll go run around and look for this coyote, maybe we'll see it," said Escobar.

Monday morning, they saw her. That was the easy part. They still needed to catch her.

Escobar got close but the net given to him by rescuers wasn't enough.

"So I just jumped on this coyote and grabbed it by the back of the head and by the tail. It squirmed and fought a little bit, but it wasn't going to bite me. It had a big plastic jug on its head," said Escobar.

The pup was taken to the vet to remove the plastic jar before being transported to Gold Country Wildlife Rescue in Auburn.

The animal was in serious condition and terrified.

"She was severely dehydrated. She's emaciated, flea and tick-ridden, her ears were a mess," said Stein.

In just 24 hours, the coyote is now showing signs of recovery.

"She was lifting her head up and looking around, so we knew that she was showing some signs of life," said Stein.

"I guess it's a good ending to kind of a tragic beginning," said Escobar.

The Gold Country Wildlife Rescue team will likely care for the coyote for weeks before they can release her back into the wild.

The president of the wildlife center says a large majority of their cases are human-caused, and this is the perfect example.

If you'd like to help cover the coyote's care, you can donate here.

You may remember Escobar from the viral videos of the St. Joseph cross country team running with rescue dogs. Escobar partnered with the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter to get the dogs out running with the team - and help them get adopted in the process. He doesn't work with the cross country team anymore but says the shelter is still open to letting its dogs go on runs. If you want to get involved with a dog-running program, call your local animal shelter.

Related content:
PBS show highlighting St. Joe cross country team to premiere Saturday
St. Joseph High School cross country coach receives gift on Rachael Ray show

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