Apr 24, 2012

Net loss

This morning, we received a call from the owners of an organic farm on a remote portion of the San Mateo coast - a bobcat had gotten stuck in the portable electric poultry fencing used to enclose their chickens. The cat had killed a hen, but didn't clear the netting as it tried to escape.

Duane and Rebecca met another WildRescue responder, Mary Kenney, at the ranch. The team reviewed plans to restrain and untangle the cat, then heading across the field. Once in view, they realized the animal was serious trouble.

With the cat unconscious and hyperventilating, Rebecca restrained the head while Duane quickly cut away the wire mesh that was wrapped tightly around its midsection. As the cat was lifted inside the carrier, it let go a stream of urine.

Back at the transport vehicle, the team soaked the cat's fur with cool water, hoping to bring down its elevated temperature. They were on the road in minutes, heading for the nearest animal hospital, but, sadly, the bobcat never regained consciousness and died en route.

In retrospect, we will never know how long this animal was entangled - it could have struggled for more than 12 hours before it was noticed, and even if responders could have been on scene within a few minutes, the damage from the cat's frantic attempts to free itself might not have been reversible. 

Either way, we are very saddened over the loss of this otherwise healthy wild animal, but very, very grateful to the landowner for calling us to help.

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