Trapping & Removing Bobcats
There are many reasons why trapping and removal is not a long-term, viable solution. For instance:
- If there is a litter of kittens, it’s difficult to trap and relocate the entire family. If only the mother is trapped and removed, the young are left behind to die of dehydration and starvation. If the entire bobcat family is trapped, often the young are too small to travel with the mother and are left behind when the mother is released at a new location. When this happens, the young will either die or have to be taken to a wildlife rehabilitator. Although a rehabilitator would care for the kittens for upwards of six months, it should be noted that professional wildlife rehabilitation cannot replace the skills the natural mother would teach her young.
- Most DFW Metroplex animal control agencies were originally created to deal with problems arising from stray dogs and cats, and to enforce laws pertaining to pets. Wildlife is often only included in their scope of services to a very small degree.
- Predator species, such as the bobcat, establish and defend a territory. When such an animal is relocated to an established territory, the defending (established) animal will attack - potentially killing, injuring, or driving the relocated bobcat from its new territory. An injured bobcat may not survive, since survival depends upon the ability to hunt, capture and kill prey.
- A wild animal that lives within the boundaries of a city and has lived its life as a scavenger may not have adequate hunting skills, and therefore may not be able to survive without the opportunistic foraging of outdoor pet food, plentiful rodents, backyard fruit, vegetables, and trash of its urban upbringing. Wildlife studies show that urban wildlife learn survival skills for urban living, and country wildlife learn survival skills for country living; they do best when left in the environment for which they have developed survival skills.
- Wildlife disease is another factor. Wild predators in urban settings may have been exposed to diseases associated with domestic pets, which could be transmitted to other wildlife not normally exposed to these threats.
- Trapping and removing animals has done nothing to correct the human equation. The cycle of imbalance will continually repeat itself, at great cost to the community, if people fail to change their own habits and environments.
- Recommended long term solutions for homeowners involve modification of the premises. Address the factors that attract wild animals, such as gaps in construction that allow access to the attic or under the deck; eliminate thick undergrowth in landscaped areas. Modification to the environment creates an inhospitable atmosphere, and will encourages wild animals to relocate. Such changes will prevent roaming wildlife from showing an interest in staying on your property. Relocating animals, on the other hand, simply leaves a "vacancy sign," inviting other wild animals to move in. The belief that the solution is to remove and relocate animals is like assuming that if you moved out of your home, no one would move in.
- Some laws (depending on species and/or city) require that trapped animals be euthanized.