Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Bobcat 332 Dies of Mange Brought on by Rat Poison, in Santa Monica Mountains

The death follows by about 4 weeks, on the death of Mountain Lion P-39,

 

January 14, 2017

National Park Service

Bobcat 332 was an approximately 3-year-old male that we've been following in the Simi Hills since 2015. He had severe mange, a skin disease caused by mites.

"We are sad to report that another wild cat has died in the Simi Valley area," said Zachary Behrens of the National Park Service, in a press release to the Santa Monica Observer Newspaper.

"Bobcat 332 was an approximately 3-year-old male that we've been following in the Simi Hills since 2015. He had severe mange, a skin disease caused by mites. Since we often see mange accompanied by rat poison in animals' systems, B-332's blood tests will be sent to a lab for analysis," he wrote

The death follows by about 4 weeks, on the death of Mountain Lion P-39, an adult female with three six-month-old kittens. She was struck and killed by a vehicle on the 118 Freeway near Simi.

Containing 12 recognized subspecies, the bobcat ranges from southern Canada to central Mexico, including most of the contiguous United States. The bobcat is an adaptable predator that inhabits wooded areas, as well as semidesert, urban edge, forest edge, and swampland environments. It remains in some of its original range, but populations are vulnerable to local extinction ("extirpation") by coyotes and domestic animals.

With a gray to brown coat, whiskered face, and black-tufted ears, the bobcat resembles the other species of the midsized Lynx genus. It is smaller on average than the Canada lynx, with which it shares parts of its range, but is about twice as large as the domestic cat. It has distinctive black bars on its forelegs and a black-tipped, stubby tail, from which it derives its name.

National Park Service

Bobcat 332 was an approximately 3-year-old male that we've been following in the Simi Hills since 2015. He had severe mange, a skin disease caused by mites.

Though the bobcat prefers rabbits and hares, it hunts insects, chickens, geese and other birds, small rodents, and deer. Prey selection depends on location and habitat, season, and abundance. Like most cats, the bobcat is territorial and largely solitary, although with some overlap in home ranges. It uses several methods to mark its territorial boundaries, including claw marks and deposits of urine or feces. The bobcat breeds from winter into spring and has a gestation period of about two months.

Although bobcats have been hunted extensively by humans, both for sport and fur, their population has proven resilient though declining in some areas. The elusive predator features in Native American mythology and the folklore of European settlers.

Mange is a class of skin diseases caused by parasitic mites. Since mites also infect plants, birds, and reptiles, the term "mange", suggesting poor condition of the hairy coat due to the infection, is sometimes reserved only for pathological mite-infestation of nonhuman mammals. Thus, mange includes mite-associated skin disease in domestic animals (cats and dogs), in livestock (such as sheep scab), and in wild animals (for example, coyotes, cougars, and bears).

 

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