As is the case with most people, there’s a certain something that stirs within me when I see an animal in pain.
Unfortunately, animals are prone to finding all manner of ways to hurt themselves, meaning people like me – of which there are many – are subjected to a lot of stories that are difficult to read.
That’s not the case with the story below, however, where 85-year-old Gwen Maxwell noticed a rather spikey pup crossing the road near her home.
Upon closer inspection, she realized the creature had a big problem … and so set about trying to fix things.
When Gwen Maxwell spotted a ball of fur trying to make its way across the road by her home, she thought there was something odd about its shape.
She decided to investigate the matter, only to find that it wasn’t a puppy – as she’d assumed – but rather a baby coyote covered in sharp cacti.
In fact, the animal was being tormented by no less than seven clumps of cholla cactus. It had attached itself to his face, legs and shoulders, hindering movement and undoubtedly causing great pain.
“He’d get up and tumble around with all those chollas on him, and it was just so heartbreaking,” Gwen said.
Without aid, the pup surely would have died. Photo by Karl Pannkuk
To make matters even more pressing, his mother was lurking nearby, standing vigil and waiting for her pup to come to her.
Mama coyote waits patiently for Shawn Bordine and Jose Soto to save her pup. Photo by Karl Pannkuk
Fortunately, two men from a nearby golf course came to provide assistance. With the help of a pair of pliers and thick gloves, they were able to release the coyote and get rid of the cacti.
The little pup is a bit worse for the wear but overall doing much better before Jose releases her to her mama. Photo by Karl Pannkuk
Though the pup was bruised and bloody from its brush with the spines, it remained calm throughout its handling.
Shawn and Jose remove the smaller cactus spines. Photo by Karl Pannkuk
His rescuers, meanwhile, were able to snap some truly unique shots before setting him back on the ground and encouraging him to run to his mother. He did just that, and the pair soon disappeared.
A big thanks to Gwen Maxwell and the two unnamed men who helped her set this coyote pup free!
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