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Department of Animal Services’ officers find trapped bobcat, remind residents wildlife traps are illegal

Thu, 12/10/2023 - 05:00

Riverside County Department of Animal Services field services officers recently attempted to rescue a bobcat that had become ensnared in a trap, prompting the officers to transport the animal to an organization in San Diego dedicated to the care of local wildlife.  

Animal control officers found the adult male bobcat with one of its front paws stuck in a jaw trap on Thursday, Sept. 28 near California St. in an unincorporated area of Hemet. 

“Jaw traps snap with such force, it will break bones in smaller animals, and, in this case, it caught the toes of the bobcat. Permanent damage cannot be repaired and ultimately affects the life of the animal,” said Josh Sisler, field services commander, Department of Animal Services.  

Sisler added that the team is not certain where the trap was originally set, as it appeared the animal had dragged it to the location where it was found.  

Officers tranquilized the animal to carefully remove its paw from the contraption and then safely transport it to Project Wildlife in San Diego where it was treated by veterinary staff. Unfortunately, the damage to the paw was too severe to repair and the animal was humanely euthanized. 

According to the CA Department of Fish and Wildlife, California permits the use of various kinds of traps and snares for licensed trappers to capture depredating wildlife. Steel-jawed traps are illegal for depredation trapping and trapping for “recreation or commerce in fur” is prohibited in California.  

Setting steel-jawed traps is illegal in the state of California. Doing so could result in fines and other penalties. 

Riverside County Animal Services notified state authorities at California Fish & Wildlife of the incident.  

For more information on state of California trapping laws and regulations, click here.                                                                                         

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