San Diego Humane Society officers rescue the coyote wedged into the car’s bumper. Courtesy SDHS

A coyote that was struck and seriously injured by a car was released back into the wild Thursday following nearly three weeks of care and recuperation at the San Diego Humane Society‘s Ramona Wildlife Center.

The fully recovered animal was set free late Thursday afternoon in a San Marcos Parks & Recreation Department location near the parking lot where she was found Nov. 1, according to the humane society.

A passer-by discovered the female coyote stuck in a hollow in the forward bumper of a sedan in a parking lot outside a San Marcos supermarket and called for help, thinking it was a dog, SDHS spokeswoman Nina Thompson said.

The owner of the car did not realize that the animal was trapped in the body of his vehicle and was inside the store shopping when the situation came to light, Thompson said.

After the coyote was cut free, she was taken to the Ramona wild-animal care center, where she was treated treatment for shock and a severely injured paw pad.

Over the next several weeks, the veterinary team performed a series of examinations and extensive radiographs to ensure there were no fractures or internal bleeding, and a Project Wildlife medical team treated the animal with fluids and pain medication, and kept her under close observation as she recovered.

Helping the coyote — described by veterinarians as a “senior” — get past her ordeal was her all-around good health, despite its relatively advanced age.

“She was actually in wonderful condition before being hit by the car,” said Christine Barton, director of operations and wildlife rehabilitation at the SDHS Ramona Campus.

“Her coat and weight are exactly what we want to see in wild animals. We are so happy she recovered quickly and could be returned to her natural habitat.”

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