In Rancho Bernardo, a rescue effort is underway for a coyote spotted with landscaping tubing around its neck. Now, if only the coyote weren't so wily.
The coyote was captured on night cam video and appears to be losing weight, according to resident Katie Ryan.
Ryan has been watching nightly for over three weeks in an attempt to catch the coyote and turn her over to wildlife experts with the California Fish and Wildlife Department.
With the help of volunteers as well as staff from the Fund For Animals Wildlife Center, a non-profit animal rehabilitation center, Ryan set up an open cage with a coyote buffet in it, quail, rat and dog food, in an effort to trap the animal and get the tube off her neck. So far, her efforts have been unsuccessful but she said she is not giving up.
"It's extremely unnatural and my heart just went out for her," said Ryan on Thursday from her home in Rancho Bernardo. "I thought, 'this is awful. Someone has to do something about this.'"
Ryan said the tube has started to shred. She found the coyote caught on a shrub and used a broom to release her.
Ryan also said she believes that coyote is a mother, and worries about her babies.
"With each day that goes by we're more and more concerned," said Ryan. "She's in very bad shape."
Environmental scientist Katherine Filippini, who works for the agency, said they have reached out to the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center.
If the coyote is captured, Ryan has been instructed to cover the cage with a blanket until wildlife experts can arrive and get the animal to the rehab center.
Ryan is not urging people not to litter in the community.
"People will dump their trash and what ends up happening is our wildlife gets into it and get poisoned, trapped, sick, or injured," said Ryan.
This isn't something they routinely do, Filippini added. They consider these incidents on a case-by-case basis and determined it was in the interest of public safety for the agency to intervene.
Coyotes are most active in the spring when they are feeding their young.
State officials want Californians to avoid contact with coyotes. Any time a coyote is given food from humans, their behavior changes. Those changes can range from damage to property to threatening behavior to humans.