QUILCENE — A coyote was released back into the wild by Center Valley Animal Rescue’s staff after it crashed through a window at Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend.
The 25-pound adult female coyote was released into the wild Wednesday evening after treatment, said Sara Penhallegon, director of the Quilcene-based animal rescue center. The coyote released in a wooded area outside of Port Townsend where rescuers believe she can find her family and pack.
Just after 10 a.m. Tuesday, the coyote was seen running around spooked in the Emergency Department parking lot of Jefferson Healthcare when it ran into the closed doors leading into the Express Clinic entrance.
The force of impact opened the automatic doors and let the animal in, said Amy Yaley, director of marketing and communications for Jefferson Healthcare.
“She proceeded to run full speed down the hallway towards an intersection in the hallway that also happened to be a glass wall. The animal ran straight through a quarter-inch-thick window into a fully enclosed courtyard,” Yaley said.
Yaley witnessed the incident.
“It happened very quickly,” she said.
“Within seconds, I realized it was a coyote, and with the help of a colleague, we barricaded the broken window with overturned furniture,” she continued.
“The animal was very scared and proceeded to jump against windows repeatedly looking for a way out.
“At one point, the animal reached the roofline and almost made it onto the roof. After about 10 minutes, the animal calmed herself and found a corner to rest,” Yaley said.
Yaley called 911, and emergency dispatchers notified animal control, which arrived quickly.
The police called Center Valley Animal Rescue and Penhallegon arrived at about 11 a.m. to sedate the animal and take it back to the facility to attend to her wounds.
“No one was hurt,” Yaley said. “Offices and the café were evacuated. Patients were detoured. Everyone did an amazing job.”
Center Valley Animal rescue posted about the incident on Facebook.
“We rescued a female coyote who attempted to check herself into urgent care at Jefferson Healthcare,” the post read. “After entering the building and realizing her mistake she ran down the hallway and crashed through a glass window, ending up in an enclosed courtyard. With the help of Jefferson County Animal Control, our director Sara Penhallegon captured the coyote and brought it back to our in-house medical facility.”
The coyote was thoroughly examined, given a few stitches and released after recovering.
“She was very happy to leave and get away from all of us humans! I don’t think she will be visiting the hospital again,” Penhallegon said in an email.
Coyotes are common around the North Olympic Peninsula but are typically more active at night and tend to avoid human activity.
“My guess is that something scared her, and she ran to what looked like a dark cave or tunnel (the dark doorway), and then once inside realized that was not at all where she wanted to be and saw the opening to the courtyard and ran in a panic through the window,” Penhallegon said.
Reporter Ken Park can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.