MIAMI, Florida -- Firefighters rescued a coyote found swimming in Biscayne Bay near Port Miami, Florida, but officials say the animal must be euthanized.
A view from WPLG-TV showed several members of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue trying to rescue the wild animal Tuesday morning off Watson Island.
"Once he started swimming, we knew we had to get in the water and get him out of there because he was 1, either going to drown, or 2, something, a boat may have run him over," firefighter Javier Perez said.
Firefighters spent several minutes trying to snag the coyote along the seawall, but it swam away.
Firefighters tried to reach the coyote as it became wedged between a buoy and the seawall.
Perez believes the coyote was chasing some prey when it fell off the seawall around 7 a.m. on Tuesday.
"It's not uncommon to see coyotes out here on the Port of Miami," he said.
Firefighters tried using a rope, but the coyote threw it off.
Once in the open water, the coyote then tried to bite their poles.
That's when the crew of a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue boat caught the coyote using a lasso and pulled it onto the boat.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Lt. Manny Pomares told Local 10 News reporter Madeleine Wright that the coyote will be taken to a rehab facility in Homestead.
"His injuries are just from him scratching on the seawall, just barnacles," firefighter Robert Bencomo said.
Officer Ronald Washington, with the FWC, said the coyote will be euthanized because it is not a native species to Florida, so they cannot release it back to the wild. He said they will do it as humanely as possible to minimize suffering.