SALEM (CBS) – Over the weekend, a coyote managed to trap itself in a wooden fence and was later saved by a local firefighter.
“I have never two legs just come through the fence,” said John Spofford, the rescuer.
Spofford was greeted by a pair of paws poking through the pickets: the hind legs of a coyote, which was dangling headfirst into the snow on the other side.
“My heart really went out to the animal, knowing that she was just supported by her front paws. Her back legs were caught in this fence,” said Spofford.
WBZ-TV’s Ken MacLeod reports.
Sometime overnight, the coyote had snagged her hind legs in between pickets trying to jump the fence. Then well after daybreak, neighbors spotted the coyote thrashing about in a futile effort to free her now bloodied limbs.
“I felt bad for the animal. It was like I wish there was something I could do, but having the reputation of a coyote, I wasn’t gonna take any chances,” said Lorri DeFrancesco, a neighbor.
Enter Spofford, a Peabody firefighter and EMT, who said the animal never even nipped at him.
“It was almost to say ‘Would somebody please get me out of this situation,'” said Spofford.
Why call Spofford to help the coyote? He’s got experience helping animals. He has rescued ducklings from storm drains, and even done mouth-to-snout resuscitation on dogs at fires.
After deciding the coyote’s hind legs were not broken, Spofford broke the pickets, and the coyote began to crawl away, getting stronger with each minute.
“She ended up getting her feet underneath her. She gave me a look back, which was nice, and then she proceeded on her way,” said Spofford.
Spofford tracked to her to a den in the woods, enough to convince him she would make it just fine.
He knows some will question his effort to save an animal so often vilified as a predator and pest, but he’s fine with that.
“Everybody deserves a chance to live in the world, and coyotes no less,” said Spofford.
So, he makes no apologies for saving an animal that so many folks love-to-hate, and some neighbors agree with that “live and let live” philosophy.
In fact, Spofford is becoming the go-to guy on the North Shore when comes to unique, wild animal rescues. Spofford belongs to a small group called “WRAM,” which stands for the “Wildlife Rehabilitators’ Association of Massachusetts.”