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Rafter saves baby coyote from drowning, nurses it to health and takes it on 10-day adventure

They say dogs are man’s best friend, but this magical tale might make you reconsider the old truism.



(TMU) – They say dogs are man’s best friend, but this magical tale might make you reconsider the old truism.

A kind Canadian outdoorsman befriended a baby coyote pup after rescuing it from certain death and, in a Disney-like plot twist, he then decided to bring the coyote along for his 10-day rafting trip. 

The adorable tale was shared earlier this month on social media by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan (WRSOS), which shared photos from the unlikely pair’s adventures, explaining that a man named Justin had recently come across the coyote pup as it was drowning in the waterways.

While he was fishing, he heard something in the water squeak – and that’s when he saw some sort of animal swimming in the river! It’s nose was barely above the water and the water was so dark and murky that Justin couldn’t initially tell what kind of animal it was,” the post read.

“Justin tried to reach for the animal but ended up falling in the freezing cold water as well,” WRSOS added. “Luckily, Justin was somehow able to locate the animal – a coyote pup! – in the water AND catch his raft before it floated away for good!”

Initially, the moment seemed tragic because the coyote pup was unconscious and nonresponsive. However, Justin was able to immediately perform CPR on the helpless creature and “was able to do a modified Heimlich maneuver by pushing on its belly.”

The WRSOS added: “After a few pushes, water squirted out of the coyote’s nose and he was breathing again!”

After saving the life of his new friend, Justin and the pup – who he named YipYip – disembarked on land and warmed up around a fire.

Because Justin was in the middle of a long-haul solo rafting excursion, simply handing YipYip off to a local animal shelter wasn’t adoption. So instead, Justin brought his little pal along “over the next 10 or so days [and] he kept the coyote with him and cared for him the entire time,” the animal welfare group wrote.

“The little pup would eat with Justin, cuddle in his jacket, and sleep in his backpack while they rafted down the river,” the organization added.

When Justin was done with his unforgettable adventure with YipYip, he knew that he couldn’t just keep the baby coyote forever – after all, it simply wouldn’t be fair or feasible for the wild pup to live like any old domesticated pooch.

So Justin and his wife conacted animal shelters throughout the region in hopes to find help before they eventually connected with an SPCA chapter in South Current, Saskatchewan. It was at that point that the rescue reached out to WRSOS for assistance.

According to the animal welfare group, YipYip is now being cared for in a rehabilitation center where he will remain until he’s matured and ready to be released back into the wild safely, the organization said.

“If it wasn’t for the wonderfully caring Justin, little YipYip would have perished in the river,” WRSOS said. “Thank you Justin!”

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