DANVILLE – The coyote that garnered attention from across the Bay Area for its unfortunate skin disease died Monday afternoon after it was struck by a vehicle.
According to Lieutenant Allan Shields, officers from the Danville Police Department responded to a report that the coyote had been hit by a vehicle at the intersection of Sycamore Valley Road and Morninghome Road at 12:24 pm Monday afternoon.
The coyote was reportedly causing a traffic hazard as vehicles slowed down to avoid and look at the coyote.
Officers arrived at the intersection and confirmed that the injured animal appeared to be the animal seen roaming the neighborhood in recent weeks. The coyote was moved next to a nearby tree after it was determined to be deceased. Contra Costa Animal Services later responded and picked up the coyote.
Shields said the driver of the vehicle that struck the coyote remained at the scene until police arrived.
The coyote’s death marks the end of a long effort by the community and Wildlife Emergency Services, a program dedicated to improving emergency response to sick or injured animals that made it their mission to attempt to capture the animal.
Wildlife Emergency Services began tracking the animal in August and even created an interactive map of the animal’s whereabouts. Throughout the month, the organization received reports from concerned citizens who observed the coyote in Danville neighborhoods.
In all, Wildlife Emergency Services estimates they spent about 100 man-hours trying to capture the coyote, including the near-2-hour commute to get to Danville. They could recall at least two days where they spent at least 12-hours tracking the animal.
Rebecca Dmytryk from Wildlife Emergency Services admits that the team is feeling a bit “defeated” after learning the coyote had died. However, she maintains that not all is lost, “every rescue, every animal teaches us so much, and I learned an incredible amount from this dog.”
Dmytryk says she feels the most sad for those who remain closed-minded, “I keep thinking about the many people who fear and hate – really hate them, and I find myself feeling sad for these people… But, what gives me hope, is the outpouring of concern for this coyote’s welfare – the many people who rallied for him, hoping he’d get rescued and treated and returned to the wild.”
The organization also kept the community up-to-date on their efforts to catch the coyote via their Facebook page and blog.
In many instances, the group reported being very close to capturing the coyote. At one point, the animal was inside a trap set by the group in a Danville neighborhood. However, the coyote was able to escape capture with a cooked chicken that served as bait for the trap.
The group also encountered urban obstacles during the month. They had to compete with the normal activity in Danville neighborhoods, such as household pets, loud noises, the residents themselves, leaf blowers and moving vehicles.
On their Facebook page, the organization reported multiple instances in which the coyote had been scared off by pets, people or other distracting factors in the neighborhood.
“People, people, people. People stopping to look at the coyote, to take pictures of him…” one Facebook update read. The group voiced their frustration with oblivious residents, “three boys on bikes chased him into heavy traffic and away from where we were staged with capture equipment.”
At one point, the group refused to continue updating the public because they believed people were purposely getting in the way. “We had to put a stop to social media posting about his whereabouts because we think people were using that to go harass him or just look at him. Poor dog!”
Fortunately, the group’s presence was warmly received by community members wanting to help out. Wildlife Emergency Services posted thanks to the community, “thank you to the folks on Danville Blvd for helping us – letting us stage there and for the lunch and soft drinks. Thank you Danville Police. Thank you to all the other folks who shared concern for the coyote – thank you for your offers of help, even offering us a place to stay overnight. Thank you.”
Wildlife Emergency Services says the coyote’s body will go to the wildlife Investigations Lab in Rancho Cordova.