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ORLANDO, Fla. -- A local animal control company finally caught a bobcat Thursday morning that had been roaming the streets of an Orlando neighborhood for months.
A new state law will ensure that the animal won’t be relocated, but rather euthanized.
Three months ago, people living in the Isleworth neighborhood noticed the 35-pound wild bobcat prowling around.
“I was called out by the Isleworth Country Club security,” said Jimmy Tanski, of Critter Control.
The private community eventually placed a call to Critter Control to take care of the animal. Two weeks later, the bobcat took the bait.
“Where I caught him was right near a recreation area there in Isleworth,” Tanski said.
Before July 1, 2008, Critter Control would’ve released the animal back into the wild.
“We had release points out in the forest areas, and we had signed documents with people who would let us release them out on their properties,” Tanski said.
But that’s all changed. A new state law says that nuisance animals—like bobcats, raccoons and opossums—can no longer be relocated to a different habitat once trapped.
“This new state statute is pretty cut and dry,” Tanski said. “Once trapped, the animal either has to be euthanized in a humane way or released back on the property where it was trapped in the first place.”
That means this bobcat will be euthanized sometime soon. It’s upsetting news to some, but Florida Fish and Wildlife said it’s actually a safer alternative for the animal and the public for two reasons.
“Most of the animals that we do relocate wind up in a lot of danger, and it results in the high amount of road kill that you see on the side of the road,” said Lenard Lacy of Florida Fish and Wildlife.
“These types of animals also carry diseases that could harm humans and other wildlife,” Lacy said.
Florida Fish and Wildlife said it’s rare, but in some cases if there is an agreement made, a zoo can take the nuisance animal.