A Pennsylvania wildlife facility has confirmed that a mystery animal brought in weeks ago after it was found in the snow has now been determined to be a coyote.
Volunteers for Wildlife Works said that they announced that DNA results, taken when the animal was first brought in by a concerned resident, confirm that it was not a dog, as previously suspected.
The animal escaped from its enclosure a short time after it was brought in, and the center received a slew of negative comments on social media. On Thursday a representative for Wildlife Works said in a statement, "The DNA did come back coyote. Other than that we are no longer doing any media requests due to all the negative feedback from the public."
A Pennsylvania woman found the animal after following paw prints. She originally thought were from her neighbor's dog, and thought it had left its property.
“I wasn’t quite sure, but...it was scared and it was cold and all I could think about was this animal needed help,” said Christina Eyth, the woman from Fairfield Township, Pennsylvania who took the animal to the wildlife facility.
Eyth took the disheveled animal to Wildlife Works, Inc., a nonprofit wildlife rescue group. The clinic ordered genetic testing.
Morgan Barron, a certified wildlife rehabilitation specialist who works at Wildlife Works was puzzled by the animal too when it was first brought in.
“I honestly can’t definitively say what it is," Barron told WPIX at the time.
Barron said wild animals can carry rabies and said just to be sure, the clinic ordered genetic testing in addition to other medical care they offered the animal.
Experts at the clinic, along with Eyth, said the animal was timid and scared and said he wasn't aggressive, so they believed there was a possibility he could have been a dog.
Results from the genetic testing took between two and four weeks before they were returned.
While awaiting results, the animal reportedly chewed through its cage, trashed the room it was in and got out through a window.
“We had him for about a week, during which time he ate nutritious food and received treatment for his mange and secondary infections. We can only guess he was starting to feel somewhat better and decided it was time to go," Wildlife Works, Inc. said in a now-deleted Facebook post.
The organization was apparently bombarded with nasty messages after the animal escaped.
"Many thanks to all the folks who reached out to us with messages of love and support. It far outweighed the nastiness and naysayers," the post said. "Rest assured we have learned a lot from this experience and will be better prepared in the future."