It's become a popular household pet, but one East Texas Wildlife rehabber says the animal belongs in the wild. A few months ago, an injured Coatimundi named Wiley ended up at a local vet's office. Wiley has been rehabbing, but experts say he may never live a normal life again.
Wiley has been through a lot. An animal native to South America, Wiley somehow ended up at a vet's office in Flint last September with severe burns.
"Unfortunately, he was burned severely on all four paws, his face and two-thirds of his tail has fallen off," said wildlife rehabber Jane Taylor. "Coati's have really long tails and his has fallen off because of whatever burn it was." Last week, Jane Taylor, a licensed wildlife rehabber in Hawkins took Wiley in. She says she had to bring in a nurse from the burn unit at Parkland Hospital in Dallas to teach her how to properly bandage Wiley's wounds.
"It's impossible to keep a wild animal off their feet," said Taylor. Wiley is slowly getting better, but Taylor says the injuries should not have happened in the first place.
"In this situation someone has to stand up for Wiley," said Taylor. "I don't think it's fair for anyone to sell them on the Internet. They are sold for $650.00 a piece, they're breeding them, they're neutering and spaying them as a wild animal. They are taking their canine teeth out of their head before they sell them to people." Taylor says they may be cute, but Coatimundi's do not make good house pets. She says they climb and will often get into things.
"The main thing about Wiley is when he does go to the bathroom, it smells just like an elephant walked through your living room," said Taylor. "I mean it's amazing, amazing how bad it smells." Thanks to people like Taylor, Wiley has a second chance, and Taylor says Wiley is a good example of what can happen when you turn a wild animal into a pet.
Taylor says right now they are trying to find a zoo, or wildlife refuge for Wiley after he recovers. Taylor and other wildlife rehabbers work completely off donations. If you'd like to help Wiley, contact Taylor at 903-769-1220.