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Shivering coyote pulled from Charles River

Rescue team uses nets to get animal off unstable ice

Tufts veterinary students (from left) Kacie Stetina, Benjamin Polansky, and Barry Brower kept an eye on the coyote yesterday after it was rescued by the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Tufts veterinary students (from left) Kacie Stetina, Benjamin Polansky, and Barry Brower kept an eye on the coyote yesterday after it was rescued by the Animal Rescue League of Boston. (Andy Cunningham/Tufts Wildlife Clinic)
By Jenna Duncan
Globe Correspondent / February 2, 2011

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A coyote was taken to Tufts Wildlife Clinic yesterday after being rescued from the icy Charles River.

About 9:30 a.m., the Animal Rescue League of Boston sent three technicians to the river near the Charlesgate Yacht Club after a call from Massachusetts Environmental Police about a wild coyote caught on the ice.

The team donned rescue suits and began to approach the coyote, which “slowly got up and started walking away, fell through the ice, and when it got back on the ice, it laid down shivering again,’’ said Danielle Genter, a rescue technician on the scene.

The animal slowly walked toward the middle of the river in the direction of the Museum of Science, so rescuers left the scene — until the Environmental Police called them back.

“We had just left the Cambridge side of the river and hadn’t even made it to Charlestown when we received the call,’’ said Genter.

When they returned, the coyote was in a spot that was easier to reach, close to a retaining wall. The crew stayed on the bank and used nets and poles to capture the animal and put him into a carrier.

It was the second call the Animal Rescue League of Boston received this season about a coyote, which can sometimes lose their way trying to find food in the extreme weather, Genter said.

“We worry about hypothermia, and he was in an area he couldn’t really get off the ice that easily,’’ she said.

The coyote is to be more thoroughly evaluated today.

Jenna Duncan can be reached at jduncan@globe.com.