MALIBU ( — A young female coyote is roaming wild again, after an unfortunate encounter with a drainage tube.

The coyote was spotted near Malibu in late June wandering blindly, with its head stuck in the tube.

“I was riding my horse and I saw something in the corner of my eye,” said Lori Lerner Gray, who said she thought for a moment the coyote was an anteater.

Gray called the California Wildlife Center.

Rescuers spent three days chasing the coyote

“I cried when I caught her,” said Rescue Coordinator Jonsie Ross. “I tested ‘we got her’ to all the people who had called.”

The coyote probably wouldn’t have survived much longer without help. The tube had cut into her fur and eaten through to her jawbone, according to Dr. Duane Tom, a

Rescuers cut the tube off, then administered medical attention and antibiotics. The coyote was soon back on her feet, and neighbors called to check on her.

“Not one person asked me, ‘Why are you rescuing a coyote?’ How unusual is that? Very unusual.” said Ross.

Locals watched Saturday as the coyote bolted from her crate and run toward freedom.

Rescuers say she did exactly what she needed to do; she ran away fast and didn’t look back. They said it’s a good sign she’ll make it in the wild.