Property owner, wildlife dealer cited
A Siberian lynx has been seized from a residence in Southwest Ranches, where the caged animal was found to be in poor health and suffering from an eye infection.
The lynx, a medium-seized wildcat, was taken by officers of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and turned over a facility licensed to house exotic wildlife. The cat’s condition has improved, although the veterinarian there said it may have long-term health issues, said Carli Segelson, spokeswoman for the commission.
The owner of the property, Paul C. Stewart, was cited for possessing a class II animal without a permit and improper caging. He was also given a warning for improper cage size and failing to provide clean drinking water.
His 15-year-old son had acquired the lynx in his absence from Daniel Blinder, a Miami wildlife dealer for whom he had worked as a volunteer, according to statements in a report by the wildlife agency.
Stewart’s son had agreed to trade Blinder a dune buggy and a dirt bike for the lynx, although he hadn’t given those items to him yet. He later tried to sell the lynx with an ad on craigslist.com.
“The cat appeared to be in poor health and was housed in substandard living conditions,” the report states.
Interviewed by investigators, Blinder initially denied trading the lynx to the 15-year-old but under further questioning admitted it. He was issued citations for providing a class II animal to an un-permitted individual and for obstruction for his initial denial. The 15-year-old was issued warnings for attempting to sell wildlife without a permit.
Reached by phone, Blinder declined comment. Stewart could not be reached for comment, despite a message left on his phone.
The charges against both men are second-degree misdemeanors, carrying maximum penalties of $500 fines and one-year jail terms for each count.
December 30, 2012|By David Fleshler, Sun Sentinel
Big Cat Rescue sent the following email to the FWC:
We have 3 empty cages here for cats the size of cougars or smaller and two vets who each come out twice a week, or more, if you need to permanently place the seized lynx. Each of our cages is in excess of 1,200 sq ft for a single cat and full of trees, bushes, grass and over 100 staff and volunteers to provide the best possible care.