SUN CITY, AZ - A coyote pup was rescued by two Sun City residents Tuesday after it apparently ran headfirst into a cactus.
Gwen Maxwell, of Sun City, was leaving her home when she saw a dog run across the street and crawl under some bushes. She later found that it wasn't a neighborhood dog—it was a coyote pup, and it was covered in cholla cactus.
The young coyote's face was covered by huge pieces of cactus, and other pieces were embedded in his shoulders, legs and knees.
Maxwell alerted a neighbor, then waited and watched as the coyote struggled to get the cactus pieces off itself. The pup's mother stayed in the area, but Maxwell said "she must have known she couldn't do anything about it."
The pup wandered onto the Pebblebrook Golf Course, where maintenance worker Jose Soto and Shawn Bordine, a golf course employee, were able to get ahold of the animal. The coyote's mother began to wander closer, and some people started to fear she'd become dangerous, but Maxwell said "she knew what was going on."
"They were trying to save her baby," she said. "I think that's why she came back… so that they could get the little coyote back to her."
Soto and Bordine slowly and carefully pulled the cactus from the young coyote, and Maxwell said the pup remained remarkably calm during the whole ordeal.
After they removed all of the cactus, the men released the coyote, and it ran back to its mother and four siblings.
Soto and Bordine, being called the "dynamic duo" by their coworkers, rescued a young hawk last year that had fallen from its nest and was too young to fly.