Man facing charges after holding bobcat captive - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Man facing charges after holding bobcat captive

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TUCSON – A man is facing criminal charges after holding a bobcat in captivity.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department confiscated the animal from a home near Sabino Canyon and Snyder Roads on August 22.

Game and Fish spokesman Mark Hart said the man is cooperating with law enforcement. Wildlife managers believe he was trying to help the animal when it was injured.

“He became emotionally attached to it, apparently, and decided to keep it,” Hart said, “which is against the law.”

The man is charged with possession of restricted live wildlife, and he has a court date next month, according to Hart.

“We don't really know what the outcome would have been had it gotten veterinary attention promptly,” Hart said. “But possibly it could have been released.”

The Tucson Wildlife Center was not involved in that case. Lisa Bates founded the licensed rehabilitation facility to help animals the right way.

“We have 160 volunteers, and we train them to stay away from the wildlife and not get that human attachment,” Bates said. “It is difficult because people do want to pet little furry animals.”

Tucson Wildlife Center has 2 adult female bobcats that act as foster parents to kittens in rehabilitation.

“We keep them wild,” Bates said. “We never tame them, because that's pretty much a death sentence.”

The center takes phone calls 24 hours a day for people concerned about wildlife they find.

The recent case in the Foothills started with an anonymous tip to Operation Game Thief. That is a 24-hour hotline for people to report potential wildlife violations. That number is 1-800-352-0700.

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