Interesting video but why are these guys even doing this? This is highly stressful for the cat with a high risk of injury to it. They look like a couple of goofballs from some cheesy "reality" show. Not to mention the risk of injury to themselves.
There are methods used by professional biologists nearly every day that allow for the safe capture and release of lions and other large and small predators with minimal risk to either animals or humans. Professional biologists conduct this feat hundreds of times a year with no incident.
Great question. Thanks for sharing the video, Dr. Ned. I am intrigued as to the circumstances of it. It appears to be a DNR/Fish & Game person (with a patch on the sleeve and wearing a duty belt) running the release but why it was such a yahoo event puzzles me. Throw in the obviously untrained assistant and they are very fortunate that no one was hurt or worse.
Aldaron, good point, but judging by the trap and the set, I would say that something the size of a cougar/wolf/bear was the intended target. I doubt these guys actually set the trap. The circumstances of the trap being set at all is interesting. Not knowing in which state this occurred, I do not know if they have a cougar trapping season or not, but if they do not, then someone was possibly breaking the law. I have never heard of a "cougar trapping season" but I do know that some states do things their own way.
One scenario is something illicit. Why? Primarily because no agency employee (as part of their job) traps large predators just to risk their life letting them go. If this was a legal incidence of trapping a cougar, then the folks that let it go violated the law. Even if the intended target was another large predator, many agency personnel would leave it for the trapper to take care of or put the animal down rather than risk themselves to set it free. Maybe someone reported a trapped cougar and these 2 guys were the closest agency reps to the site. I have no idea and there are other possible circumstances but I do not want to go down that rabbit hole.
But, if part of my job had the potential to handle trapped (or otherwise) large predators, I can guarantee you that after the proper training, a drug kit would go out in the field with me every day.
Anyway, I'd love to hear more on the circumstance surrounding this event, just for curiosity's sake. These guys were obviously trying to help it and succeeded so big kudos to them for that. There's just safer ways (for all involved) to go about it.
Actually, it looks like the cougar was caught in a coyote trap, referred to as the "Jake Trap". These are great traps for coyotes or bobcats. This trap is very humane and causes minimal to no foot damage. The cougar will be just fine. It looked like it was caught by a couple of toes. It was probably accidentally caught and the person who caught it contacted the game fish department, who request you contact them with when this type of catch happens and will gladly asset you in the release of these kind of this animal
I had the same thought. They CA Dept of Fish and Game traps cougars to study them all the time. They are sedated while samples are taken, and their instinct to get away from humans is so strong that when the sedation wears off the cougar just gets up and runs off, even with 5 humans around it (this was shown on 60 Minutes about a month ago). These guys are making things so much worse by putting that "noose" (not sure what it's called) around its neck when they could have just sedated it, freed it and left. The cougar is lucky that noose came off.