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Predator Defense Condemns Killing Of Bobcat, Wants Inquiry


A predatory animal advocacy group is denouncing the death of a bobcat found inside Eugene’s Oakhill School last week.

Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense says an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist told him in an email that the bobcat was killed by “blunt force trauma to the head” as opposed to other methods.

“This doesn’t even come close to meeting the definition of humane euthanasia," Fahy tells KLCC.  "They killed this animal. 

"And we’re going to be calling on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission to review this and have an internal investigation, and to basically reform this type of…I don’t even know what to call it, it’s just barbarism.”

The Humane Society of the United States has also objected to the killing of the bobcat.  HSUS Oregon Senior State Director Kelly Peterson said: “This situation is just the latest of many examples of a lethal overreaction by ODFW to an animal who posed absolutely no threat to anyone. This was a young kitten, likely with her mom waiting for her return. It is growing more difficult to trust a state agency charged with protecting our wildlife when time and time again these kinds of responses show they cannot be trusted with such an important role. They simply must do better.”

An Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife trooper killed the bobcat, which officials say displayed “abnormal” behavior which potentially posed a threat. 

In a statement sent to KLCC, the OSP says "After the bobcat, which was exhibiting abnormal behavior, was captured on the end of a catchpole by a responding Deputy it was able to be removed from the school.  The Deputy was able to get the animal outside the school, however with the Deputy's close proximity to the animal, the Trooper dispatched the bobcat in the safest manner to ensure the safety of the Officer. Based on the abnormal behavior of the juvenile bobcat and in consultation with ODFW wildlife biologists, OSP euthanized the bobcat using blunt force trauma.

"Note that euthanasia drugs to put an animal down can only be administered by a licensed veterinarian. Factors like safety of discharging a firearm also come into play when choosing a method of euthanasia."

Both the OPS and ODFW say blunt force trauma is a recognized method of euthanization by the American Veterinary Medical Association. 

A second bobcat – possibly a sibling – was also removed from Oakhill School last week, without incident. 

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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