A mysterious animal that escaped from a wildlife facility after it was found “cold and shivering” in Adams County, Pennsylvania, has finally been identified, after weeks of baffling experts.
The animal was found in January by Christina Eyth, a local resident of Adams County. Eyth took it to the local Wildlife Works animal shelter, but experts there were unable to determine the species. They thought it was a dog or a coyote.
Shelter experts sent samples for testing to find out what the animal was.
On Feb. 14, Wildlife Works announced that the animal’s DNA was 100 percent coyote. It follows weeks of speculation by the animal shelter and those following the case facebook†
Coyotes are members of the canine family, but although dogs are mostly domesticated, coyotes live in the wild. Coyotes prefer to roam open prairies, deserts, forests and mountains. They resemble dogs, but usually have a slimmer coat and longer muzzle.
The DNA results would be the the dramatic escape of coyote just a week after being rescued from the shelter.
In a Facebook post, which has since been deleted, the shelter said they were “stunned and mortified” when they learned of the animal’s escape. Wildlife rehabilitator Morgan Barron arrived at the rescue building in the morning to find a “horrific” sight. The coyote had destroyed its cage and destroyed the room.
Despite being small, the coyote had managed to force through the window and then rip a hole through the screen.
Ever since arriving at the shelter, it had done little more than crouch in the back of the cage and follow Barron with his eyes. The shelter said he never acted aggressively or upset and there was no previous evidence of any escape attempts.
At the time of his escape, the shelter was still awaiting the DNA results and treating the animal for mange and secondary infections. The shelter suspected it escaped when it started to feel better.
While some believed it must be a dog due to its shy demeanor, the escape led to theories that only a wild animal would do such damage.
Wildlife Works said it had “learned a lot from this experience” and will be better prepared in the future.
Local television network WPXI News reported that there have been no sightings of the coyote since its escape. The shelter has encouraged the public to leave it alone if they see it.
When the coyote was first brought to the shelter, Eyth said that regardless of the results, she did the right thing by bringing him in.