A Calgary bobcat, which Lake Chaparral residents have lovingly named “Bobbi,” is in the care of Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society after being seen wandering around the southeast neighbourhood with a trap caught on its paw.
“The bobcat was actually just sitting right between the garages leaning up against my neighbour’s eavestrough,” area resident Trevor Pinkster told Global News, pointing to the spot between the two homes.
“The poor thing was holding its paw up, definitely showing it wasn’t feeling too good.”
The southeast Calgary resident first spotted the injured cat on Wednesday, although neighbours said they first started calling Fish and Wildlife more than a week ago concerned about the wellbeing of the animal.
Bobbi has been well-known in the neighbourhood for years: some local residents even started a Facebook page for her in 2018 called Where’s Bobbi the bobcat In Chaparral?, and it has hundreds of members.
“Everyone posts pictures of where it’s located at that time so seems to be a local bit of celebrity,” Pinkster said.
On Thursday, two days after it put the first capture traps out, Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, with the support of Fish and Wildlife, successfully caught the injured bobcat.
“Bobcats are pretty difficult to capture, they are pretty smart and they recognize any kind of man-made contraptions so they typically try to avoid it,” said Melanie Whalen, director of wildlife management at Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society.
“But we were lucky. I was able to build a contraption and get it to walk in the trap.”
“He (she) was moving around quite quickly with that trap on his foot but you can also tell it had been a few days without food, if we didn’t get him today it could have been a negative outcome,” Whalen said.
The animal was sedated so the trap could be removed by a veterinarian, who also determined following Global News’ interviews that Bobbi is actually a female.
Luckily, there were no fractures or breaks, although Bobbi underwent surgery to repair and clean the wound caused by the trap on her paw.
The CWRS is a non-profit and relies on donations to support the animals it helps.
Bobbi is expected to be at CWRS at least until summer and it could be an expensive recovery.
“Any support from the public would be greatly appreciated,” said Whalen, pointing out bobcats have rather expensive taste — rabbits.
It’s not known where the paw trap came from and the Fur-Bearers — a non-profit dedicated to stopping trapping cruelty — said this is further proof more regulation is needed.
“We’ve been requesting IDs on traps so when a situation like this occurs there is at least some opportunity to try and find out what happened, these regulations have not been adopted anywhere in Canada despite outcry from so many citizens,” said Michael Howie, communications manager for The Fur-Bearers.
It’s just one change in a long list the organization has long been lobbying for.
Whalen said the trap found on the bobcat was a conibear trap, which can be easily purchased by anyone.
CWRS hopes to rehabilitate the cat and, depending on the severity of injuries, one day return Bobbi to her home territory in Lake Chaparral.
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