NEWS NEWS AND MORE NEWS I am going to get all of my memories down, before I forget what I remember!. . . . quote from Stanley Forman


Coyote Rescue, Video, Stills and Freezing Temperatures

Coy­ote on an ice flow on the Charles River, Cam­bridge side behind the Son­esta Hotel and res­cuers on the way.

The first call I heard and there I was in the mid­dle of a snow storm, slip­pery roads, poor vis­i­bil­ity, red traf­fic lights, McDonald’s pit stop and with what lit­tle traf­fic there was on the roads seemed to be in front of me. Then it took 10 min­utes to get through every traf­fic lighted inter­sec­tion while my patience waned.

It seemed like I could not get a break. What was nor­mally a 25 minute ride turned into almost an hour and every minute it took me to get there put the res­cuers from the Ani­mal Res­cue League closer to their prey.

The good news was when I did get there the res­cuer in the wet suit was just being low­ered  via a rope into the Charles.  A fron­tend loader which cleared some of the snow had the  ropes tied to it and Sgt. Jim Dey­er­mond of MSP in con­trol of the ropes.

As I tried to park and watch at the same time there was a NECN team there, Mark Garfin­kle  of the Her­ald with all is lens, youth and know­ing what to do and the man who makes me  feel young Al McNaughton from WHDH who will be 73 in March. I hate being late and last.

I did not think I had time to put on my two rain jack­ets, one for me and one for the cam­era  so we both were not cov­ered prop­erly, plus I have a tough time work­ing with gloves so  my hands were uncov­ered. The good news was as soon as I dragged myself, video cam­era,  still cam­era and tri­pod to the rail­ing over­look­ing the Charles the coy­ote was no more than  30 feet from me strug­gling to stay afloat on an ice flow.

The res­cuer had the snare hook rope on a pole and the plan was to grab the “wild dog” and  drag it to the boat docks near where we were. The only prob­lem with the plan is the  Coy­ote was not going along with it. As the res­cuer made progress going towards the coy­ote the coy­ote would keep­ing mov­ing fur­ther away, falling through ice holes and pulling her­self up. The res­cuer was hop­ing it would be stuck with half its body in the water so it could be “saved.”

I was using the video cam­era then the still cam­era then the video cam­era. For what I do the video was more impor­tant for what I wanted the still cam­era was more fun. The only time I do coy­ote sto­ries in my 44 years was after it attacked a domes­tic ani­mal or was a safety nui­sance. Coy­otes are not taken hap­pily or lightly in this area.

The res­cue oper­a­tion went on for about 20 min­utes, I shot 12 min­utes of tape, took 20 some­thing stills and the last shot was of the ani­mal mak­ing its way across the Charles back to Boston. (One the­ory from Nancy Bent on the assign­ment desk is the peo­ple on Bea­con Hill put her on an ice­berg as it was prob­a­bly a cousin of the one that men­aced Louis­burg Square last month).

I was frozen when I got through; the cold had gone through me. My hands were numb along with my well booted feet. I was so cold I was nau­seous. I thought my day was over as I could not feel any­thing but pain. It took about 20 min­utes to get back to feel­ing com­fort­able. The good news is the sta­tion web­site ran 17 pho­tos and the pain seemed to be worth it.

The res­cuers packed up their gear and went look­ing for her on the Boston side of the Charles. A few hours later we were noti­fied she was cap­tured and brought to the Tufts Vet­eri­nary Hos­pi­tal in Grafton in good shape.

She was sched­uled to be released this past week­end into a safe environment.

Video on

Not my first ani­mal res­cue on the Charles.

In Jan­u­ary of 1978 I was about 100 yards from these same docks at the MIT boat house where there was a dog stuck on the ice. I got there with the first arriv­ing police and brought my Golden Retriever down to the dock to try and lure the dog back to safety.

Glossy” barked and wagged her tail and the dog made it back to land. Some­thing like the movie we saw last night, “No Strings Attached.”

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  1. I’m glad this story had a happy ending!

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