This image of the dead bobcat was posted around the Pine Mountain community by members of the Little Bit of Wildlife organization. The group offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who set and baited the trap, then left the animal to starve to death in the cage.
California Department of Fish and Game investigators said this week that the inquiry into the death of a bobcat left to die inside a “live trap” in the Pine Mountain community is now a closed file.
Warden Martin Willis came to the site where the trap was set. He said the investigation did not yield evidence against a specific individual. He speculated that someone who was having trouble with raccoons may have set the trap, “and they got themselves a bobcat….”
“Warden Willis spoke with people in the area who said they were shocked and appalled. Everyone was cooperative, but no one would own up to setting it,” according to the Enforcement Division’s Andrew Hughan.
“The warden looked for additional traps in the area but did not find any. Possibly someone who set it was a part-time resident who either forgot about it or said ‘it is just an animal,’” Hughan speculated. He said that permits are not required to hunt raccoons, bobcats or coyotes. But professional hunters must have permits for live traps, and they must be checked every 24 hours.
The trap is believed to have been set in an open lot adjacent to a residential area near Wildwood Drive, according to an unconfirmed report. Pine Mountain neighborhoods are “now on the warden’s patrol cycle, and he will be watching,” Hughan added. “If people are really disturbed by this kind of incident, take personal action. If you see something wrong, go stop the person.
“Call Fish and Game if you have an issue with raccoons. Half of our job is education. The warden would be glad to come educate people about how to live with wildlife so they are not torturing an animal and causing suffering,” Hughan said.
Call 888-334-2258 to report an event of concern to Fish and Game.
This is part of the January 13, 2012 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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