Photo of a previously rescued bobcat courtesy Brooks Fahy, Predator Defense

Curiosity Killed the Bobcat

Bobcat kitten killed with 'blunt force trauma'

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is having trouble explaining to dubious animal advocates why it beat a bobcat kitten to death after it wandered into Oak Hill School.

The school, on the edge of forestland in south Eugene, called authorities Oct. 16 to remove the bobcat — a species about twice the size of a typical house cat — after it entered an office at the school and was locked in. No students or staff were injured or threatened.

The decision to kill the bobcat by “blunt force trauma to the head” after its capture was made by an ODFW biologist and a state trooper, ODFW said in an email to Brooks Fahy of Predator Defense. ODFW says the animal couldn’t be released because of its “abnormal” behavior — going into a building.

An ODFW veterinarian examines the second bobcat. Photo courtesy ODFW.

ODFW says it “followed American Veterinary Medical Association Guidelines for the Euthanasia of animals standard methods.” The agency did not respond to Fahy’s questions on exactly how the blunt force trauma was administered. ODFW also says it did not necropsy the animal because “based on the animal’s abnormal behavior a necropsy was not necessary. We only necropsy animals that exhibit clinical symptoms that suggest possible disease.”

A second young bobcat, perhaps a sibling, was captured at the school, examined and released. It didn’t enter a building.