A full-grown coyote discovered inside the bathroom of a Jurupa Valley school was safely removed Monday and released back into the wild.
According to Riverside County Animal Services, a male coyote nicknamed "Wile E." — for the inept character continually outsmarted by the Road Runner in the Warner Bros. cartoons — sought shelter in the open bathroom after a member of the staff discovered him on the campus of Mission Middle School in Jurupa Valley and frightened him.
The coyote had been spotted several times by school staffers in recent weeks, but it had only ventured onto the campus on Monday, before classes were in full swing.
The school's staff kept the bathroom closed until Officer Will Luna from Riverside County Animal Services arrived. Luna lassoed the coyote, believed to be about 9 months old, and brought to a rural area away from the school to be released back into the wild. Luna said he did not believe the coyote would return to the school.
Animal services officials said that they were happy to get the coyote back into a more natural habitat, but it was a reminder that Riverside County has a lot of natural open areas where interactions with wildlife will happen occasionally.
"There are dedicated wildlife corridors and other open spaces, such as green belts, and these are where animals live," Animal Services Director Erin Gettis said in a statement. "Due to population adjacent to these natural, open spaces, we are going to have encounters."
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