Two golf course maintenance workers came to the pup's rescue. (Source: Gwen Maxwell)
SUN CITY WEST, AZ (CBS5) -
A coyote pup is back safe with its mother again after it ran headfirst into a cholla cactus in Sun City West.
Gwen Maxwell, an 85-year-old retired school teacher, was leaving her home Tuesday morning when she noticed what looked like a small puppy running across the street.
When she got a closer look, she found it wasn't someone's neighborhood pet but a coyote pup covered by six or seven huge clumps of cholla cacti.
Maxwell said the clumps were sticking to the pup's back legs, right foreleg, knee and shoulder.
After summoning a neighbor for help, Maxwell returned home and sat by the window until assistance arrived.
"He'd get up and tumble around with all those chollas on him, and it was just so heartbreaking," she said.
The mother coyote was apparently aware of her baby's plight, Maxwell said. "She kept coming back and holding a vigil in my backyard," she said.
Two men, Pebblebrook Golf Course maintenance worker Jose Soto and Assistant Superintendent Shawn Bordine, showed up, pulled out some pliers and began pulling the clumps and individual spines loose.
Bordine said the pup was amazingly calm throughout the ordeal. "As Jose held him, I was able to pull stickers out of his mouth," he said. "He didn't bite or make a sound."
Once the pup was free from the cactus, it ran to her mother and followed her and its siblings back across the golf course, Maxwell said.
This was not the first time that Bordine and Soto have come to the aid of wild animals in need. Last year on Pebblebrook Golf Course's 13th green, the pair rescued a red-tailed hawk that had fallen out of the nest and was too young to fly.
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