A glimps into the world of wildlife rehabilitation…the world through a rehabber's eyes.

Bobcat shot in the head wrong place, wrong time continued


http://www.wfaa.com/home/Police-Chief-Comments-on-Shooting-of-Caged-Bobcat-128049003.html

Okay, I feel the need to correct some mis-information in this reporter’s story. First and foremost, urban bobcats are NOT smaller than rural bobcats. Valeri did NOT say that, and it is not accurate. What our director did say was that the subspecies Texensis that we see here in our state tends to be smaller than the northern subspecies.

Urban bobcats by nature are more acustom to humans than their rural counterparts, and in general are not as frightened of people, and therefore do not go on the defensive as readily. You can actually usually approach one and get fairly close to it before it will simply get up and walk away. They can exist in extremely close proximity to humans, even going so far as to den in a suburban back yard. They may be there for years before you ever even see them. They will very rarely go after family pets, and usually, if a bobcat is doing so, it is because someone is trapping predators in the area, prompting new, and greater numbers of predators to move in on the open territory, making their main prey (rats, small birds, snakes) more scarce. Basically, it boils down to mis-management by us humans of urban wildlife habitats.

The entire point of Valeri talking with WFAA was to clarify the difference between the role animal control plays, versus the role that we as wildlife rehabilitators play. Animal control in general is not equipped to handle wildlife, especially predators like bobcats. That is where the wildlife rehabilitators step in. We work with animal controls across the state to help them humanely and safely handle and relocate these animals.

The issue with what we do as wildlife rehabilitators is that the line of work we choose is not funded. We do this out of our own pockets, and only in numbers that we can personally afford. This does not mean that we are not knowledgable, and in fact many of us have careers in the animal field outside of the work we do as rehabbers. Unfortunately, I do not think the reporter quiet got the point of our director agreeing to talk to them, but I feel I must step in, and clarify the message that NBRR and WCCR was trying to convey in this interview.

Bobcats do not regress to aggression lightly, and I dare say a caged animal is handleable. This cat was scared and trapped. Not a comfortable place for a predator in any capacity. Animal control and the police department did not handle the situation as well as they could have, and apparently did not do their research, or they would have found groups more than willing to help. It was a sad feeling to know that the life of this animal was needlessly ended due to fear and ignorance, not just because it was a sad event.

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