Bobcat caught on Maple Ridge property

Killed a swan and returned only to be trapped.

Dave Rempel lured the bobcat into the trap with a piece of swan.

Dave Rempel lured the bobcat into the trap with a piece of swan.

In a cage on Dave Rempel’s Whonnock property, a bobcat contemplates its fate. His second sojourn into the backyard for a meal didn’t turn out as expected.

“He’s been lunging a bit, and is very scared,” said Rempel, a school district trustee for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows who caught the wild cat at his home on 277th Street, where he operates a bird sanctuary.

The cat had snacked on a male Trumpeter swan Tuesday night. To keep the feline away from two other breeding pairs, Rempel decided to set up a live trap Wednesday night after a school board meeting. On Thursday morning, he walked out to find an animal pacing around the metal cage.

“I looked at it from the distance and it looked like one of my cats,” said Rempel, who has tried to trap wild, hungry beasts on his property before – without much success. He usually ends up catching his pet dogs and cats. The bobcat (Lynx rufus) can be thought of as the “southern equivalent” of the lynx.

Where lynx tend to prefer colder climes, bobcats live in warmer regions with a range that stretches over much of the United States, parts of Canada and south into central Mexico. Their diet includes mice, fish, snakes, birds, carrion and small ungulates such as deer. Like its cousin the lynx, the bobcat is also a major predator of rabbit and hare.

Bobcats can live fairly close to urban areas and, according to the B.C. Conservation Service, seem much more tolerant of humans than lynx.

Rempel would have liked to keep the bobcat, to add to his collection of critters at the Whonnock Bird Sanctuary, which currently boasts swans, geese, peacocks, pheasants and Sandhill cranes. The retired school principal has been giving school tours of the sanctuary for 20 years.

“It gives me my teaching fix,” Rempel said. Conservation officers were scheduled to visit Rempel’s property Thursday afternoon to transport the bobcat for release out of Maple Ridge, away from easily available meals.

Report

People in British Columbia currently have 24-hour access to report wildlife conflict concerns or a violation of provincial regulations or legislation. Call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).