Bobcat Discovered Dragging a Leghold Trap
On Jan 1, 2014, a bobcat was discovered dragging a foothold trap. Here is the story of this New Year’s Day bobcat incident, shared with us by photojournalist and Wyoming resident Kathy Lichtendahl.
“My husband Ken and I raise pack llamas in Clark, Wyoming. The corral is fairly near the house and over the years we have discovered that the llamas are the best early warning system going. So when we looked out the window New Year’s morning and saw all the animals staring into the feed shed, we knew something was not right.
Ken went out to the shed to take a look and quickly returned with his report. He was outraged to see, inside the shed, a bobcat, obviously scared and in a lot of pain. The cat had a leg hold trap attached to one of his front legs and upon seeing my husband he took off into the sagebrush, dragging the trap behind him.
We immediately tried to call Wyoming Game and Fish but of course the office was closed because of the holiday. I posted a notice of the dilemma on Facebook and within minutes a friend from Cody had sent back an emergency number for WYG&F. We called the number and left a message and just a few minutes after that received a call back from an officer who told us he would come out and help.
We live in a pretty remote spot so it took the truck with two G&F officers and two dogs close to an hour to reach us. During that time the llamas continued to stare into the nearby rocks, allowing us to keep track of the bobcat’s general location.
One dog was released to pinpoint the exact location of the injured animal and it took no time to corner the exhausted cat. At that point one of the G&F officers slipped a snare over the cat’s head and the dog was removed to take away a little of the added stress. The cat was quickly darted and we were able to get at the work of removing the leg hold trap.
The original hope was that the animal could be saved but it was evident once the trap was taken off that the foot was damaged beyond any chance of repair. Obviously the trap had been on the animal for some time and all the bones and muscles in the clamped area were destroyed.
The G&F officers were kind enough to take the injured animal with them to a vet in Cody where it was determined, as expected, that the only recourse was to put the animal down.”
Photos: Kathy Lichtendahl