Hi, it’s me Bobby.
OK. I’m going to get serious now so pay attention.
Let me fill you in on what’s happening.
Bobcats and other wild carnivores like mountain lions, coyotes, owls and hawks that are living in and around your neighborhoods are dying from secondary poisoning. What that means is that humans who don’t like rodents sharing their yards use anticoagulant rodenticides to kill them. The problem for carnivores is that the poisoned rodents don’t die quickly like when a snap trap is used for instance or, the more natural method, a bite to the back of the neck! First, they get sick and spend some time crawling near water because the poison makes them thirsty. Well, if you’re a bobcat like me, it’s a whole lot easier to pounce on a pool-side poisoned rodent than a healthy one. Now, I’m not suggesting that I’m lazy or anything but who wants to waste a lot of energy chasing a squirrel, the original fast food, if you don’t have to? Heck, as hunting goes, it’s a one-in-ten success rate for a clawed bobcat and since I’ve been declawed I might never catch the sucker! Much easier, even for a buff bobcat in nature, to simply lie in wait for the poisoned, slowed down variety that’s creeping along right in front of you. I mean really, it’s a no brainer. Actually, for us, it’s more of an instinct thing—but tell me. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Would you rather get in the car, drive to the store, buy groceries and then come home and make dinner or pick up the phone and have pizza delivered? You see, even the predators with the biggest brains would do exactly the same thing.
My friends the biologists who work in the Santa Monica Mountains have radio-collared bobcats, coyotes and mountain lions to study them. Recently they told me that 50 collared cats had been killed by rat poison. I was born at a fur farm but luckily I now live at The Nature of Wildworks. Guess I should be glad I don’t live in the wild!
Some good people have been trying to change the laws. Senator Fran Pavley is one of them. Purrr. But it takes time to make big changes like that and many more animals will suffer and die while we’re waiting.
The really crazy thing about all this is that we wild carnivores are supposed to be the ones taking care of the rodent problem for you! That’s what predators do for a living, ya know, and we work hard at it. Well, I don’t–but I’ve heard that it’s hard work.
For example: One barn owl, weighing less than a pound himself, can kill 1000 mice a year! And they love to chow down on gophers too. If you hang a barn owl house high in a tree in your yard, he and his family might just move in a go to work. Also, smart coyotes are often accused of killing outdoor housecats but if you keep yours (and their cat chow) indoors I bet they’d opt for a squirrel meal. Great-horned owls love rats and rabbits, sometimes skunks. Skunks and opossums eat insects so we need them too. Red-tailed hawks dine on diurnal ground mammals and so do my friends the snakes.
If there’s anything else you’d like us to take care of in the rodent control department, just let us know ’cause we’re up for it.
Well, some of us are up. I’m about ready for a nap.But before I tuck myself in I want to make a suggestion.
You know that if everybody just made up their minds on their own to stop using poison we wouldn’t have to wait for a law to change things. You could make the change yourself. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Besides, there are many alternative types of “pest” control. The easiest, of course, is to let predators come into your yard to kill for you. No need to be afraid. They don’t want you, they just want your rats.
Mollie has a second method because she has access to unusual products–bobcat, coyote and mountain lion urine. She spreads a little around planted areas and the ground squirrels go elsewhere. Personally, I’d go for the bobcat urine. But I’m a little prejudiced.
I hope you have been listening to my bobcat advice. Fact is that just by making some simple changes you can be a better friend to wildlife. And these days, believe me, we need all the help we can get!
Catch ya later