A coyote was discovered pacing along an outdoor alcove of Eastern Maine Medical Center on Saturday morning, causing hospital security to close down a nearby sidewalk and call in a local game warden, who successfully herded the animal back into the forest.
“It was disoriented inside that complex and wasn’t able to find its way out,” explained Maine Game Warden Jim Fahey, who responded to the call around 7 a.m. with an animal catch pole to ensnare the coyote if the animal had been sick or injured.
When Fahey arrived, the coyote was walking back and forth in a grassy space bordered by building walls on three sides. From a distance, the game warden assessed that the animal was healthy and would undoubtedly be too fast to capture with the pole-noose device. So with hospital security standing by, Fahey edged along the side of a building while rapping the pole on the wall and herded the coyote to its only exit.
“I was able to scare it out, and in the parking lot, the security guards were able to wave their arms to keep it moving,” Fahey said.
Fahey was worried the coyote might dash into the nearby parking garage or cut across busy roads to wander deeper into downtown Bangor. The goal was to direct the animal to the nearby forest along the Penobscot River.
“It got up on the [hospital] access road, ran a couple hundred yards, then it turned and cut through the parking lot and headed down over the bank and railroad tracks to the river corridor where it’s heavily wooded,” Fahey said.
As a game warden in the Bangor area for more than a decade, Fahey knows the area and its wildlife well. The corridor along the Penobscot River is home to an abundance of wildlife, he said, including coyotes.
“I think in the nighttime it was prowling about and got into the maze of the hospital complex,” Fahey said. “Then day broke and people started walking around. What seemed like a good ground to traverse in the nighttime all of the sudden had too much human activity.”
Based on past experiences with local coyotes, Fahey doesn’t think this animal will return to the hospital, especially after the stressful experience of being hemmed in by buildings, people and traffic with no place to hide.
“It didn’t want to be there any more than the hospital wanted it to be there,” he said.
EMMC staff have declined to comment on the event.
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