A Riverside County Animal Services officer removed a coyote from a stall inside a school bathroom this morning.
The coyote scurried into the open bathroom after staff discovered it on the campus and frightened it into its unusual hiding place at Jurupa Unified’s Mission Middle School. The call came in to Animal Services shortly before 9 a.m. and classes were not yet in full swing.
Staffers told Officer Will Luna the coyote had been spotted several times in recent weeks, but it had never ventured into the school grounds. The staff nicknamed the coyote “Wile E.” as a nod to the infamous hunter of the Road Runner in Warner Bros. cartoons.
The bathroom was closed off until Officer Luna’s arrival.
He successfully lassoed the scared, male coyote, believed to be about 9 months old. Officer Luna released it into a rural area away from the school where he said he did not believe it would return.
“We are pleased that this incident was smooth and all the children were OK and we were able to get the coyote back to its more natural habitat,” Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said.
This activity is also an opportunity to remind residents that Riverside County has a lot of natural open areas and interactions with wildlife are going to occur, she said.
“There are dedicated wildlife corridors and other open spaces, such as green belts, and these are areas where animals live,” Gettis said. “Due to population adjacent to these natural, open spaces, we are going to have encounters.”