"Locals Believe Bobcat Trappers Are Crossing the Line in Joshua Tree"

"It's legal to catch the animals outside the national park. But critics say the trappers are after bobcats that often crisscross the invisible park boundaries."

"JOSHUA TREE -- Annica Kreuter's backyard on the edge of Joshua Tree National Park has been a perfect place to chronicle the adventures of eight bobcats.

Over the last decade she has watched a young bobcat chased up a tree by a coyote; an alpha male surveying the landscape from the hood of her car; a kitten sauntering into the yard as she gardens; a matron sniffing the back of Kreuter's neck as she napped on a hammock.

Lately, seven of the eight have vanished. 'At sunrise, I hear the one that is still here crying for his family,' Kreuter said.

She and others in this high desert community of about 8,000 say bobcats have been disappearing lately, killed for the value of their pelts by trappers who often trespass on private property. The trappers come armed with wire cages, squirt bottles of potent scent and bobcat lures: battery-powered vibrating pet toys festooned with feathers to resemble dying birds."

Louis Sahagun reports for the Los Angeles Times February 11, 2013.

Source: LA Times, 02/13/2013