The Dodo, an animal advocacy site, reports on a wildlife rescue that removed animals used in a religious ritual. One, a coyote, is recovering from the cruel conditions.
Eight African lions, a mountain lion, two lynxes and a coyote are moving to their new home at The Wild Animal Sanctuary after an epic rescue from Mexico.
The 12-year-old coyote was rescued from a place where he was used for Santeria rituals. These rituals involved tying his front paws together and hanging him in the air for days — sometimes WEEKS — on end.
The organization reports on their Facebook page:
“CanCan” the 12 year-old male Coyote is one of twelve animals rescued two days ago from Mexico. He was rescued from a place where he was used for Santeria rituals that involved tying his front paws together and hanging him in the air for days, and sometimes weeks, on end. When found, he was unable to walk, but has started to recover and can walk or stand for short periods of time.
While the details of the abuse is not confirmed, it’s obvious he was held in horrible conditions and there is no excuse for that. He can never be released into the wild but will be cared for in the sanctuary.
There is dispute over use of animals in this religious tradition. Sacrifices mostly seem to involve chickens where the followers say they are killed humanely. There remains in some states laws against killing without any exemptions. The Supreme Court took up the question in 1993 with specific reference to Santeria.
However, this is the first public account we’ve heard of an animal being tortured. Unfortunately, the release refers to “witchcraft” again. The use of this word is problematic. As with this case in Florida, where police speculated and made a mess, it’s best to refrain from making such causal references when the evidence is not clear.
If anyone can find additional sources for the situation in which these animals were found, please provide them in the comments.