SUN CITY WEST, Ariz. -- A coyote pup is on the mend after suffering an unpleasant encounter with a cholla cactus this week.
Sun City West resident Gwen Maxwell said she went for a walk Tuesday morning when she saw what she thought was a small puppy across the street.
Maxwell said the animal crawled under some bushes, and eventually disappeared.
A little while later, Maxwell walked around the side of her home and saw the coyote pup in her backyard covered in cholla cactus.
After speaking with a neighbor about the animal, Maxwell watched the pup from her window while waiting for help to arrive.
Maxwell said the pup’s mother also made its way to her home.
“The mother would walk all around that little coyote, and she must have known she couldn’t do anything about it. Finally, she just laid out on the gravel on the courtyard and watched that little one and was there for quite some time before she wandered off,” Maxwell recalled.
The coyote pup eventually walked away from Maxwell’s home and towards the Pebblebrook Golf Course, where it would come in contact with maintenance worker Jose Soto and Assistant Superintendent Shawn Bordine.
With the help of heavy leather gloves and a pair of pliers, Bordine and Soto were able to remove the pieces of cactus from the coyote.
“Jose and Shawn did such a good job,” said Maxwell. “They were very gentle.”
After removing all the cactus, Bordine and Soto took the coyote pup between some houses and let it go join its mother and siblings.
Bordine said later in the day he saw the pup and its father enjoying a little reunion.
“Dad gave him a couple of licks, they played, and then ran away,” said Bordine. “I’m glad we were able to help, because I hate to see an animal down.”