Bringlunathecoyotehome 3 of 4 Rescue Coyotes DEAD

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On 4-24-19, I experienced a disturbing incident involving an egregious civil rights violation. It concerns the use of excessive force and intimidation of a citizen by law enforcement.

13 years ago, I was fostering animals for a wildlife rehab group when the group was given coyote pups that were dropped off at a local animal shelter. The pups were imprinted on humans so they could not be safely released, confirmed by both USDA and private veterinarians... and my life with coyotes began.

I obtained my federal USDA licensing and approval to keep the coyotes in large outdoor enclosures I built on my property. For the next 13 years, I cared for the coyotes and took pride and joy in educating the public about peaceful coexistence, coyote behavior and their value to our ecosystem, and my opinion that coyotes should not be considered for household pets.

On April 24, 2019 at 7:00 a.m, that all changed when a large contingent of six officers from the IDNR Illinois Department of Natural Resources and CCAC Cook County Animal Control arrived in multiple vehicles and entered my property brandishing assault rifles and rousting me from bed. They waved a warrant and demanded entry into my property. I offered to show them my licensing but the IDNR officer in charge said they were taking my 4 coyotes NOW, along with all my licensing and paperwork. They terrorized my coyotes by flipping over their houses and safe hiding spots, chasing and cornering them in canned-hunt style. They shot my precious coyotes with tranquilizer guns and dragged them out on choke hold poles by their necks. My beloved coyotes who had only known kindness from humans up until that day, were gasping for air, bleeding, traumatized and injured in the process.

This incident was reported in the Chicago Tribune and has been covered in several local television news segments.

This sort of unaccountable aggressive police action against the civilian defies credibility and is totally uncalled for in a civilized society. The level of armed force employed would have been more appropriate if it had been a take down of a dangerous drug lord.

What sort of agency sends armed officers to confront a sleeping woman to deal with an animal control issue? The officers were brash and threatened me if I interfered, even if it were just to mitigate the harm to the animals.

It is heavy-handed incidents like this where citizens are deprived of the due process they are entitled to that solidifies the public’s distrust of authority and law enforcement. Many people are concerned now that we are sliding toward increasingly authoritarian government and this does not sit well with the majority of Americans.

Per court documents, the IDNR officer who led the raid, had been walking his dog past my property, when his dog barked and my coyotes howled in response. This started his investigation which he told me consisted of finding my active USDA licensing, copying photos from my Facebook and Instagram profiles, and interviewing my neighbors, who he stated all said they were quite fond of my coyotes and that I took good care of them.

I was never given any warning or opportunity to correct any alleged state permit issues, and my coyotes were taken brutally, although I offered to humanely crate them, I was not allowed any time. The seize resulted in the deaths of three of my coyotes while in the care of a Chicagoland north suburban wildlife rehab, as they were placed there by IDNR.

I went to court several times with my attorneys in attempts to obtain the return of my sole surviving coyote Luna. This has so far been denied, but a kind judge awarded me visitation with Luna.

The first Wildlife Rehab in the northern suburbs would not allow me the court ordered visitation, and IDNR then moved Luna, my only surviving coyote, to another Wildlife Rehab in the western suburbs. Beginning in early June, I have had weekly and now bi-weekly visits with Luna, and only have seen her rise to her feet twice. She is so frightened and in a state of constant distress and depression, that she lays unresponsive in one position, too scared to move. Many followers on social media thought she was injured or drugged, but I can see her spirit is broken. She is now kept indoors, inside 4 walls, stone on the ground, no grass, no blue sky, no enrichment, no pack mates, and torn away from the only caregiver she has ever known. Luna can begin to heal her tortured soul ONLY in her safe and familiar space, back home with me.

The court order states I may have physical contact with Luna, however IDNR and the current wildlife rehab have denied me that precious gift the judge ordered.

Luna rose to her feet on my visit on 7-12-19, but only because a worker had entered her enclosure, which frightened Luna into a panic. She was trying to come to me for comfort, but an IDNR officer interfered and scared her back into a corner. I had reached out to her but he made me retreat. I have video of this incident as well as the initial seize, and more, which has created a growing frenzy of concerned animal lovers and animal advocates on social media.

Luna has been imprisoned alone in total isolation since April 24th, 2019. This is torture for a very friendly and social coyote who had 24/7 interaction with her pack mates and had only known kindness from humans up until the seize. Luna has endured more than three months of inhumane treatment and she remains locked up in a small indoor enclosure, with no familiar sights, sounds, smells, or touch. She has NOTHING and it is obvious animal cruelty to anyone that sees the videos and photos. Her health is declining and the wildlife facility director is gravely concerned.

In contrast, Luna was kept outdoors all her life in USDA approved large and safe enclosures with me, and was an ambassador for her species, teaching people about coyotes. Luna was happy, healthy and loved,  as were her now DEAD pack mates, Sandy, Bella, and Peytah. I have many photos and videos of Luna and her pack demonstrating their happy normal behavior. Not wild coyotes, and not domesticated, but somewhere in between. They loved their life with me and one another, and I have only memories of that life now.

We are fighting desperately to get Luna home so that she can live out the remainder of her natural life in peace and comfort and with me, the only caretaker she has ever known, in the only home she has ever known for her entire 13 years of life.

Coyotes can live to be 20 years old in captivity so she has many years left if returned to her familiar safe environment. Luna is at high risk and in fragile condition now, remaining in constant stress and trauma throughout this ordeal that began over 3 months ago.

For 13 years, all was well, then I am suddenly charged with HUNTING VIOLATIONS  although I kept non-releaseable coyotes under USDA federal licensing as an exhibitor, offering sanctuary to my coyotes and education and viewing to the public.

Our next court hearing is at the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington, Chicago, IL, Aug 22 at 9 a.m. in Room 408.
Tomi Tranchita vs. Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the state of IL.

By signing this petition, you can help bring this travesty to the attention of the American public.

With sincere gratitude,
Tomi Tranchita

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The post that started the social media outrage

Visit with Luna
Court ordered physical contact denied

Fox 32 News Coverage with Dane Placko

First Tribune Article

3 of 4 DEAD 2nd Tribune Article

Luna normal behavior HAPPY !

LUNA too scared to move

Luna and Sandy, a favorite conversation !

Luna having fun in the snow

Coyote howls led by Sandy

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