Tucson man faces investigation for trapping bobcat

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- We hear a lot of cases of wild animals that find their way into our communities, but wildlife experts say a Tucson man handled the situation all wrong when a bobcat approached his home last week.

Now the property owner could face charges.

"His legs were swollen badly and he had a fractured jaw or a lot of mouth damage is what we saw," said Lisa Bates from the Tucson Wildlife Center.

Scared and injured, an adult male bobcat wound up at the Tucson Wildlife Center after he was trapped and allegedly shot twice at a home on the northwest side.

"These open up and then they snap closed.  There's many good humane alternatives," said Bates.

"We have a number of questions about this incident that we need to talk to the homeowner about," said Mark Hart from the Arizona Game and Fish Dept.

Arizona Game and Fish is looking into the issue, to see if the man should face charges.

"If a bobcat is hanging around a home it can be scared off, bang pots and pans, spray it with a garden hose," said Hart.

According to Game and Fish, the bobcat may have been attracted to chickens on the man's property.

Investigators want to know if the traps were used illegally, and why the man did not reach out to wildlife experts, before allegedly shooting the bobcat in the face and shoulder.

When volunteers took an x-ray of the animal's head here's what they found metal fragments in the jaw and a fracture in the mandible.

"We were unable to repair all of the pieces but what we were able to do is stabilize the jaw, the good part of the jaw so he would be able to eat," said volunteer vet Gregory Costanzo.

Neither of the two agencies are releasing the homeowner's name or address, But a state law may clear him of any wrong doing.

"The homeowner owned chickens and under Arizona law you can kill wildlife that is killing or injuring livestock," said Hart.

The investigation into the legality of the traps and the alleged shooting continues.