When the ranger drove to the 4,000-acre Spring Lake Forest Preserve southwest of Bateman and Lake Cook roads, he went to a pond off Penny Road and found a five-gallon bucket with a plastic garbage bag full of dead coyote pups, seven in all.
"According to the incident report, he picked up the five-gallon bucket, and that was when he realized one was still alive," said Dawn Keller, founder and director of the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation. She runs the facility in downtown Barrington and in Chicago on Northerly Island.
The discovery was made on May 11, and the ranger dropped the surviving pup — which, like its litter mates, was in the one-pound range and only a couple weeks old — at an emergency veterinarian clinic called Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg, Keller said.
According to Keller, the clinic has called Flint Creek in the past for wild animals brought in by the public, so a volunteer showed up and took the coyote, its x-rays and the incident report from the Cook County ranger back to Barrington.
"At the point of admission, the puppy was critical," she said. "The leg was shattered, it was dangling and misshapen and it was sticking out slightly because of a hip fracture."
Keller added that Flint Creek staff "started treating it with fluids, anti-inflammatory and pain medication. On the second day, it opened its eyes. Nine days later, last Saturday, the leg was set in a cast, (and) the coyote was eating well and stable at this point."
That's when she started a Facebook effort to get tips reported to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources hotline.
"It was blunt force trauma," said Keller of what caused the injury, adding that she could only imagine what happened to the other coyote puppies. "They were brutalized. This was not some humane killing.
"It takes a special person to brutalize an animal, especially babies. That's not normal. It's really sad."
Officials with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources were not immediately available to comment on Tuesday. Keller said she contacted the IDNR to make sure it was all right to publicize the tip line on their Facebook page.
Keller said if anyone in the Barrington or Barrington Hills area or anyone else knows anything about the incident that occurred on May 11, they are asked to contact the IDNR tip line at 1-877-2DNRLAW (1-877-236-7529).
"We're hoping the leg heals enough that it doesn't have to be amputated," she said. "We're just trying to help investigators. This is not acceptable behavior."
(Chicago Tribune - May 23, 2017)