(STMW) — Groups of people at a north suburban train station couldn’t believe their eyes Wednesday when a train conductor pulled into the employee parking lot before work with what looked like a fox stuck in the grill of his vehicle.
“It was 6:30 in the morning when dispatch called me,” said Amber Manley, an animal control officer for the Waukegan Police Department. “I asked if it was alive and they said, ‘Yes.’ I told them I’m on my way,” she said.
When Manley arrived at the Waukegan station, the owner of the vehicle, Kenosha resident Mark Armour, told her that he thought he hit something at Green Bay and Yorkhouse roads on his way to work as a train conductor.
“He said he thought he hit something, he could feel it, but he didn’t see anything,” Manley said.
Right away, Manley knew the animal wasn’t a fox, but a coyote. She was stunned the coyote happened to be the right size to fit in the tight space.
“It was even more amazing he survived,” she said.
Using safety equipment so the animal couldn’t bite her, Manley helped the coyote get loose. The animal appeared to be in shock.
“He seemed docile,” she said, adding that she placed him in an animal control crate and then into her van.
Manley then called Susan Elliott, director of animal control in Waukegan, to see if the coyote could be taken to Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation for medical attention.
Dawn Keller, executive director and founder of the Barrington-based wildlife center, agreed to take the coyote. She found the coyote had suffered three fractures in his legs.
Keller set the fractures, gave the coyote antibiotics and reported that the coyote is now resting comfortably. By the next day, he was more alert and eating. The wildlife center hopes to release him into the wild after winter.
“I think it was just an amazing call,” Manley said.
On the wildlife center’s Facebook page, Armour named the coyote Vern.
“I am so glad Vern will recover,” Armour wrote, adding that he is raising money to donate to Vern’s recovery. “Thank you so much for taking care of him.”
For more pictures of Vern, visit http://www.flintcreekwildlife.org.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)