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Scents, feathers and birdcalls: How to lure a bobcat needing help in Buckeye

Neighbors in North Buckeye have grown increasingly concerned about a bobcat living with what appears to be a hose around its neck for three months.

BUCKEYE, Ariz. — In the back corner of a backyard in the Sun City Festival in North Buckeye, a green fabric cover lays over a brown metal trap, fixed up with lures for a bobcat.

It’s the third one set in the past day after neighbors raised money to help a bobcat that’s living in their neighborhood with something around it’s neck.

“I’m concerned for her safety,” neighbor Kathie Weber said.

Posts on Nextdoor detail sightings of the wild cat the residents call “Mama Bobcat.” For the past three months, residents have spotted what they refer to as a “collar” wrapped around her neck. They guess it’s some kind of construction flex hose.

Kathie and her husband, Don Weber, spotted Mama Bobcat visiting their roof in December while they were out of town.

“She’s a beautiful animal,” Don Weber said.

They too are worried for her and what’s lodged around her neck.

“You can see it's starting to dig in as she gets larger and larger and it gets more irritated. That's not good. So we're hoping that we can get her trapped and get her help,” Don Weber said.

RELATED: 'We need professionals to get this off': Buckeye neighbors trying to help bobcat with hose around neck

On Monday, neighbor Tammy Bithell started a GoFundMe to try and get some professional help to get the piece off of Mama Bobcat’s neck.

That money is being used to pay Fox Wildlife to set the humane traps and get her to a wildlife center that can help.

 “We’re closing in on their territory and with all the construction materials and things like that there’s a lot of animals that will get hurt.. so it’s just – it’ll be a good thing to get her, get it cut,” Casey Bartalos with Fox Wildlife said.

Bartalos set up the trap with different lures including scents, feathers, and fake fur to help lure Mama Bobcat to the trap.

The trap is also set up with a box playing a birdcall over and over again.

“It's just one more thing just to kind of help entice the bobcat, have it think that there is an actual live animal in there that it could potentially get,” Bartalos said.

The three traps will be checked every few days to replenish the scents and such in hopes of catching Mama Bobcat. More traps could potentially be placed too, as neighbors are hopeful for the day she’s caught.

“If we can get her and get her transported over to a vet, sedated, get the thing off of her neck and treat her and set her free, is the day I look forward to," Bithell said. 

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