Volunteers had been trying to trap the elusive animal for ten days.
"She was unable to eat," said Greg Grimm of Gold Country Wildlife Rescue in Auburn. "We believe she may have had limited amounts, very small amounts, of water because she was witnessed taking her whole head and putting it underwater in a stream."
It was during a Monday morning search in the Auburn Lake Trails area that volunteers finally got the opportunity to sneak up on the young female coyote. One was able to grab her by the hind legs, which would normally be very dangerous.
"But in this case, because she couldn't bite them because she had this (jar) on her head, it was a fairly safe situation," Grimm explained.
The volunteers then used a net and a crate to safely trap and transport the coyote to Cool Veterinary Hospital, where the plastic jar was cut and removed.
"We had the right people, the right equipment and the right situation so that we could capture her," Grimm said.
In addition to preventing the animal from eating, the jar had an odor indicating it had recently been sprayed by a skunk. The resilient coyote is now under the care of Gold Country Wildlife Rescue.
"She is in stable condition," Grimm said. "She has been up and she has been walking around a little bit, and she's now in a crate with the things that she needs. And we'll see how she goes for the next few days."
It is unknown where the animal first encountered the container. Rescuers believe she was simply attracted to the scent of whatever food the container once held.
"She smelled those good smells thinking she was gonna get a treat, and then was unable to remove her head," Grimm suggested.
If all goes well, rescuers plan to release the animal back into the wild when she is strong enough. As of Feb. 9, the coyote was still recovering and was in stable condition, according to Gold Country Wildlife Rescue.
Gold Country Wildlife Rescue worked together with Sierra Wildlife Rescue and dozens of volunteers to safely trap and treat the coyote.