Sep 26, 2016

Collared duck in Monterey

This weekend WES received a report of a mallard duck in Monterey that's somehow gotten a plastic drink lid around its neck. 

Unfortunately, there have been numerous failed attempts to catch this duck, making him extremely wary and hard for us to approach or lure close. 

According to the SPCA for Monterey County Wildlife Center, they first received a call about it him in Spring. Although the drake has been in this condition for months, he seems to be in fairly good health. However, the plastic ring is disrupting his feathers, allowing cold water and air to get through his otherwise waterproof integument, and so, it should be removed.

WES will be taking the lead in capturing the duck. We are asking citizens to not try and capture him as this will make him harder for us to catch. 

Sep 6, 2016

Bobcat with mange - rescued!

By Rebecca Dmytryk

Over the last couple of weeks, there's been a bobcat with mange spotted on the Elkhorn Slough Ecological Reserve property. Most likely suffering from Notoedric mange, caused by ear mites.

Research suggests exposure to anticoagulant rodenticides from eating poisoned rodents increases an animal's susceptibility to mange. Read all about it, HERE and HERE

Thankfully, there are no such poisons used on the preserve. If the animal was exposed, it could have been from one of the surrounding properties or agricultural fields.

Either way, the animal needed treatment, and fast.

Dave Feliz, manager of the reserve, gave the go ahead for us to attempt to capture it, but first, we'd need to find it. 

It had been a few days since it was last sighted, but seemed to hang around the flats near the Long Valley and Five Fingers trails.  

The reserve is normally closed to the public on Mondays and Tuesdays and Monday was a holiday, so, we decided to try this morning.

As luck would have it, when I arrived, one of the biologists working the reserve had just seen the cat crossing the Long Valley trail. Perfect!

Mike was willing to show me where he'd seen the cat, but that's not where we intended to stage the capture equipment. In this case, we wanted to set up capture equipment a distance away from the animal, so not to spook it, then use sounds to draw it close.

As I drove to a location I thought the cat would return to - a place I'd seen it before, there she was - slinking through the dry grass for the cover of a large oak tree. She sat in the shade, watching, as I drove by. 

I kept my eye on her until I got about 60 yards away and out of her direct line of sight so she would not move off.

There, in the shade of an oak, I set up the cage trap. It's a long metal cage with a separate partition for live animals. I placed one of our two poults inside the separate cage. These are young chickens that are accustomed to cats, dogs, travel and handling.

I thought to separate them so they would call for each other - their peeps would bring the cat close to investigate.

I drove back to the visitor center and watched and listened. I could hear the chick across the field. 

After about 30 minutes or so, she settled down and stopped calling, so I walked the other chick out to the trap and placed it inside. They immediately started peeping. Good.

I figured I'd check again in an hour.

When it was time to check, I took the truck, thinking I might just park there and watch from a distance. As I started to turn onto the Long Valley trail, there she was! I immediately switched gears and slowly backed the truck until I was out of sight. 

I rolled down the windows, cut the engine and just listened. I heard the peeping - the chicks were chattering to each other - good.

About five minutes later, I heard them alarm-call, then I heard the trap door slam shut - I just hoped the cat was inside...

Sure enough!

I called Mike to help lift the cage, and moved the chicks to their travel cage. (Thank you Mike!) (Thank you chicks!)

We got the cat loaded, covered with a dark sheet, and I headed for the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley in San Jose.

There, the older female bobcat, estimated to be about 4-5 years old, was sedated, examined and given fluids. She received an initial treatment for mange before being placed in an enclosure where she'll be monitored closely. 

Oh,... and, she might be pregnant!

UPDATE: 9-12-16

Blood tests confirmed our fears, the bobcat tested positive for exposure to rodenticide poisoning. She will be on medication to counter the anticoagulants until her release.


Anyone interested in providing a loving home for these two famous poults?

Sep 5, 2016

Danville Coyote R.I.P.

By Rebecca Dmytryk

We received word from a citizen that at about 12:20 today the coyote was struck and killed by a vehicle. The County Animal Services picked up the carcass. We are hoping to get his body to the Wildlife Investigations Lab in Rancho Cordova to further research of coyotes with mange. At least maybe he'll contribute to science... 

The coyote's last walk, HERE.

So very sad. Poor, poor, dog. Poor coyotes. So misunderstood...

In mourning the loss of this animal, I can't help but feel for those who fear and hate coyotes... or wolves, or mountain lions, or sharks... 

Sep 2, 2016

Latest efforts to rescue Danville Coyote

Yesterday, Duane and Rebecca spent another 12-hour day in pursuit of the coyote with mange, hoping for just the right opportunity to set up their capture equipment to rescue him. 

Thanks to reports of sightings, they caught up with him in a neighborhood south of downtown, off Sycamore Canyon. The streets were fairly quiet, but, time and time again people disrupted capture plans. Drivers would slow to look at the wild dog, or they would stop to take pictures of him. A couple of cars began following him, reporting his whereabouts, oblivious of the rescue vehicle behind them with hazard lights flashing.

It almost seemed as though people were using reports of NextDoor to locate him, so, we requested direct emails of sightings rather than posts on any social media.

Finally, in the late afternoon, the coyote returned to a home where they'd staged capture equipment. Unfortunately, he didn't go far enough into the yard. He kept moving down the boulevard. 

Later, he was headed back, but three boys on bicycles chased him into heavy traffic. Amazingly, he made it across El Cerro Blvd. without getting hit. By then, though, it was time for the team to make their near 2-hour commute back home. 

We haven't given up. We'll keep trying. 

Please do not feed the coyote. Do not try to capture him. Report sightings to