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Burns & Gambo

Updated May 17, 2013 - 4:17 pm

Coyote pup loses battle with cactus but golf-course duo saves day

SUN CITY WEST, Ariz. -- There was a little excitement in the area this week when a young coyote staggered on to a golf course. Workers came to the aid of the troubled pup.

"A baby coyote had Cholla cactus all over it," said Shawn Bordine of Pebblebrook Golf Course. The assistant superintendent took a call alerting him to the small visitor Monday around 11 a.m.

A resident had spotted the animal.

Bordine and course foreman Jose Soto don't know how the pup got tangled up with the cholla, but the little fellow had spines all over its body.

"There was multiple ones on the head," said Bordine. "There was one on the leg, the stomach, the back part. It had a whole bunch of little ones on it. We just couldn't let it suffer. I started picking off the big ones first, and then we just started picking off the little ones."

They used several tools to pull out the spines. "I think the hardest part was pulling the ones out of its mouth," Bordine said.

Bordine and Soto had company while they aided the pup. A female coyote, presumably its mother, watched from nearby. Then about 10 other coyotes showed up, possibly the pup's father and siblings. All of the coyotes stayed calm.

After about 15 minutes, all of the spines were out. "We let it go," said Bordine. "It ran across the No. 2 fairway about five minutes later. It met up with daddy by itself. Daddy gave it a few licks. They rolled around for a few minutes, and then they were on their way."

This isn't the first time that Soto and Bordine helped an animal on the golf course. Bordine said that two years ago they rescued a baby Red-tailed hawk that couldn't fly.

They were afraid that if they didn't do anything, the bird would be attacked by coyotes. They put it in a box and took it to a maintenance area, where they gave it a drink of water. Bordine said the bird was turned over to an animal refuge.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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