Coyotes are a savvy and clever species, yet they often get a bad rap and are labeled “nuisance pests.” As a result, a number of coyotes are put down by lethal means each year per the request of individuals and local communities, even though nonlethal management methods exist and are proven to be effective.

Earlier this summer, in the Southern California community of Rancho Mirage, several residents got fed up with their coyote neighbors, some of who had reportedly been attacking dogs, killing cats and stalking people. They decided to take action against the animals and hired trappers to capture and kill any found within Rancho Mirage’s boundaries.


During one of these “capture” sessions, a family of coyotes was disrupted, a common and often unseen side-effect of trapping and hunting which can cause even more human-wildlife problems.

The father was trapped and killed while the mother fled from the scene, scared. Four healthy coyote pups were left on their own but thanks to concerned citizens, animal control and staff from the Living Desert Zoo, their lives were spared and were given a second chance, reports the Humane Society of the United States.

Since the four pups were too young to survive by themselves in the wild, they were transferred to The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center for species-specific care and rehabilitation. During their time at the center, the pups joined other young orphaned and injured coyotes who had also survived human-wildlife conflicts from car collisions to den displacements.

Unlike other coyote stories we here far too often in the news, these four rescued pups received the happy ending they deserved. The pups were recently released back into the wild in Palm Desert after three months of care at the center. They will now have plenty of space to roam and hunt freely and to fully embrace their inner wild coyote.


Watch a short video of the pups’ release below and click here to learn how to humanely resolve conflicts with coyotes.

Image source: Larry Lamsa