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Baby coyote that was mistaken for a puppy doing well at wildlife center

"When it comes time for release it is critical that they have the skills they need to survive and have a healthy fear of humans."

Cape Wildlife Center posted a “pup-date” on Facebook Monday to let people know how a coyote pup that was accidentally taken home by a family is doing.

A few weeks ago, a Massachusetts family brought home what they thought was a lost puppy they found on the side of the road, but it turned out to be a coyote pup separated from its mother.

When the family realized their mistake, they contacted the New England Wildlife Center, which took custody of the coyote and brought it to a wildlife center to be cared for after it was cleared for rabies.

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On Monday, the Cape Wildlife Center posted that the coyote pup had been introduced to his foster sister and that they are getting along well.

The center wrote that the foster sister was transferred there by Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island. It said the baby girl is about two weeks younger than the boy pup and a bit smaller, so they waited until she caught up in size to formally introduce the two.

“It was a little slow at first, but once they felt each other out they quickly began to bond,” the center wrote. “Before long they were wrestling and playing with each other, which is crucial to their normal development.”

Because of the size difference, the center said, the pups are not staying together full time yet. They are just playing together for a few hours a day so they can continue to bond.

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Once the girl pup gets bigger, the two pups will be held together in a bigger enclosure where the center will provide natural climbing items, enrichment activities, and regular health checks.

“Our primary goal is to raise the pair as naturally as possible. When it comes time for release it is critical that they have the skills they need to survive and have a healthy fear of humans,” the center wrote.

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“Having a sibling to model behavior from goes a long way towards maintaining their wild instincts and we are so grateful that these two bonded so quickly.”

Still, it takes a lot of resources to raise the pups well. Each of the pups will need hundreds of hours of care and cleaning, about 300 lbs. of specialty food, regular veterinary checks, and preventative medications and vaccines, the center said.

Anyone interested in donating to the center can do so at this link.

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