Bobcat relocated after it kills dozens of animals at Tucson petting zoo

Updated: Feb. 9, 2021 at 6:52 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A surprise visitor went on the attack at a Tucson petting zoo, leaving more than a dozen animals dead.

Kenneth MacNeil, the owner of the Tucson Petting Zoo and Funny Foot Farm, said when he arrived at work, he found 18 chickens, two ducks and a lamb dead.

“The fences are considered no-climb fences, but unfortunately bobcats can make it over it,” MacNeil said. “I wasn’t mad at the bobcat because he belongs here more than we do.”

MacNeil said he immediately began making changes to the farm to better protect the animals, but when the bobcat returned night after night, he called Marc Hammond with Animal Experts Wildlife Services.

“My first thought is how am I going to catch this bobcat? This bobcat can come back and it get whatever he wants to get rabbits, chickens, egrets, anything that he wants,” Hammond said. “Why is it going to want to go into a live trap when it can go anywhere?

Hammond said he used every lure he had and two days later, it worked.

“We are conservationists, but then again we have to put safety first. So, if we feel it is a situation that we have to trap this bobcat and relocate it to a nice area that is away from residential, commercial and industrial areas, we will do it,” Hammond said.

Hammond said he safely trapped the bobcat and relocated it roughly 40 miles from Tucson near a water source, but away from people.

MacNeil opened the farm about three years ago in a developed area not far from Interstate 10. He said predators have not been a problem until recently.

MacNeil said he has seen an increase in wildlife since the beginning of the I-10/Ruthrauff project that has closed down roads in the area.

MacNeil believes animals may be crossing over from the Santa Cruz River on the side of the highway.

MacNeil said he is thankful the majority of his animals survived and with recent sightings of bobcats and coyotes, he will have to continue to make the changes necessary to keep his animals safe.

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