Injured Bobcat Seen Again Months Later
Early this year we spent months trying to humanely trap an injured bobcat in the Brookside subdivision to no avail. Yesterday we got this message:
I received your email from my friend XXXX. This bobcat appeared at my friends front porch at 6 pm on July 4 th and then proceeded to walk across the street into the conservation area. She did note that he was holding up his left rear leg. We are wondering if the bobcat could be the cause to the 4 missing cats in our neighborhood. We live in XXXX Pasco County
Thanks for your help XXXX
Thank you for the photos of the bobcat. It is wonderful to see them living free, the way nature intended. You should count yourselves lucky that you have a bobcat in the area. They are your last line of defense against being over run by rabies vector vermin.
Domestic cats that are left outdoors are subject to perils far worse than bobcats; such as cars, poisoning and being infected by other cats carrying FIP, FIV or FeLV. Those cat killing diseases are spread cat to cat during mating or fighting. Sadly, a huge percentage of free roaming domestic cats are positive for these diseases. Often when people find out their cat is sick the turn them loose, rather than give them proper vet care or humane euthanasia.
When cats are killed by wild animals, it is usually by coyotes, which are not native to FL, but due to the Florida Wildlife Commission’s lax attitudes toward exotic pets, we are just over run with them.
This bobcat would appear to be a male, based on his battered ears, from many a battle for territory with other male bobcats. If he were consuming infected domestic cats, he would be dead already. It is highly unlikely that the bobcat is responsible for the missing domestic cats as they would much prefer easier prey, like rats, mice, rabbits, snakes, opossum, raccoons, squirrels, etc. A bobcat knows that every fight with another cat, bobcat or domestic, could end up in an injury that will ultimately cost him his life.
You said he is limping, with a back leg jacked up. That is more likely from a car strike than a fight. Bobcats are amazingly tough and often survive being hit by cars. Bobcats aren’t like coyotes and foxes and won’t usually eat anything that they didn’t kill themselves. This makes it nearly impossible to catch them and even if we do, here is the dilemma:
Florida law requires that the animal be released back to the same spot they were picked up. Even if we were able to trap the cat, treat the injured leg and get him ready for release, we would have to bring him right back to your neighborhood to set him free.
Any nuisance trapper that tells you otherwise is going to kill the cat, or sell him into some awful situation where he will be used as bait for training hunting dogs.
If we were able to trap him and set his leg, it would mean months of cage confinement for the pins and plates to heal and wild bobcat will tear themselves to pieces trying to escape. As long as this cat is able to support himself in the wild, even with this injury, he is probably better off there. I am pretty sure I got a call about this same cat several months ago, and he is still managing to survive. With the help of a resident we set traps for him in the XXXX area early this year to no avail before that. Bobcats cover a 5 square mile territory in order to find enough prey.
If he gets to the point where he can’t hunt and you think he can be lured into a humane trap, please let me know and we can supply you with one. It will need to be baited and checked every day and you will catch everything else in the neighborhood before catching the bobcat, but we would be willing to help you try.
JOIN ANIMAL BASED CHARITIES AT NEW LOCATION!
We are excited to tell you we are moving to a new, bigger, location. The new store is about six blocks south, behind Sonic, and a couple of doors down from You Fit on West Gandy. It is also adjacent to West Oakeller Ave. We will be in the old Winn Dixie shopping center, occupying the space where the Bethesda Tabernacle was previously located.
Please join us for our Grand Re-Opening on Tuesday, August 20th. We will have week-long celebrations with food, drinks, raffles and door prizes!
Because of the larger space, we will be able to accept furniture donations AND furniture for sale on consignment!
We can’t wait to see you in our new store,
4465 W. Gandy Blvd
Tampa, FL 33611