Bobcat relocated after night at the vet 

Attractants must be secured year-round, COS says

click to enlarge PHOTO SUBMITTED - Rehydrating A juvenile bobcat was cared for at Coast Mountain Veterinary Services and given a short-distance relocation over the holidays.
  • photo submitted
  • Rehydrating A juvenile bobcat was cared for at Coast Mountain Veterinary Services and given a short-distance relocation over the holidays.

A young and malnourished bobcat attracted a lot of attention around Whistler Village over the holidays.

"It's pretty common at this time of the year that we have bobcats looking for food, mostly younger bobcats, and this one was particularly persistent around the village," said Sgt. Simon Gravel of the Conservation Officer Service (COS).

An officer responded after multiple people reported the bobcat, which was eventually captured behind the IGA.

"There was an attempt to try to see if we could shepherd the bobcat away from the area, but he was persistent there, and he looked a bit tiny and skinny, so there was some consultation done with our provincial vet and it was decided to capture him and bring him in for assessment and relocate him," Gravel explained.

The six-month-old bobcat was taken to Coast Mountain Veterinary Services in Whistler, where it was hydrated and kept overnight, but ultimately deemed to be in good health.

It was relocated a short distance from town the next morning.

"We hope to not see him again," Gravel said, adding that the situation is quite uncommon for COS.

"We try to not intervene with wildlife as much as possible. This one was kind of a combination of factors — location and the age of the bobcat — that triggered the action there... the message here is to remind everyone to never feed wildlife."

There is a healthy population of bobcats and cougars in the area, but most humans won't see them, Gravel said.

"They are usually very stealthy, hunting at night and not being very visible, so usually when we see one it is a juvenile that maybe didn't learn all the tricks yet, the survival skills," he said.

"It's kind of a hazardous situation for him more than public safety."

COS would like to remind the public that wildlife attractants should be secured year round. Conflicts or wild animals in distress can be reported to the RAPP line 24/7: 1-877-952-7277.

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