A coyote was recently discovered in a flooded field near San Diego with a bucket stuck on its head, prompting a rescue mission by wildlife officials. The San Diego Humane Society received a call reporting a “dog floating in debris with a bucket stuck on its head.” Responding to the scene in the Tijuana River Valley, about 16 miles south of San Diego, humane society officers realized that reaching the animal required a boat, and San Diego lifeguards assisted in the effort.

Upon reaching the distressed animal, it was identified as a juvenile coyote, not a dog. The coyote was transported to the humane society’s Bahde Wildlife Center in San Diego for initial triage and care. Veterinarians administered a sedative and pain medication, removed the bucket, addressed wounds, and treated the coyote for mild hypothermia and cactus spines stuck in its fur.

Following the initial care, the coyote was transferred to the humane society’s Ramona Wildlife Center, where the Project Wildlife team focuses on rehabilitating apex predators. Despite the challenging conditions, the humane society is optimistic about the coyote’s recovery and eventual return to the wild.

The rescue occurred amidst flash floods in San Diego, which resulted from torrential rain, marking the city’s fourth-wettest day in 175 years. The floods caused widespread damage to roads and infrastructure, impacting both residents and wildlife. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria declared a state of emergency, with the Red Cross providing shelters for affected individuals. The humane society collaborated with the American Red Cross to establish a temporary shelter for animals in need.

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