For hunters using trapping devices to snag prey, it’s not guaranteed just what will get stuck in the jaws of the device. If it’s an animal you don’t want — like a bobcat — letting it free can be tricky business.
A video recently posted on YouTube shows a group of hunters’ efforts to free an upset bobcat in a trap. The footage is so dramatic that the video went viral within a day of its posting, garnering more than 1.25 million hits so far. According to the video’s title, the bobcat was accidentally trapped.
“I got him, I got him. I’ve got him right where I want him,” said the man attempting the release. This could not have been more untrue though. Just when the man thinks he has the animal under control, it evades him or breaks his stick. There’s a whole lot of growling and clawing.
Eventually the jaws of the trap open and the bobcat is released. The hunters’ first instinct when the animal is free? The one doing the freeing backs up, but the one doing the filming closes in.
Was that a wise decision? See for yourself (Content Warning: Strong language):
The men head toward their Jeep and the cat begins to come toward them slowly, stalking. But then he slips underneath the SUV for cover. Firing up the engine, the cat is scared out and makes his final exit.
“That was a very cool experience right there,” the man filming said. “That was cool.”
In the thread on Reddit about the video, where many have taken the opportunity to discuss inhumane trapping, it said the trap in the footage was a leg hold trap. This sort of trap isn’t designed to harm the animal and was likened to being about as harmless as a hook in a fish’s mouth.