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Duck owner hires trapper to locate bobcat

A Hermantown man who did battle with a bobcat hopes to have the animal trapped. Gary Lucia, 52, said Monday that he has hired a trapper. The bobcat entered Lucia's garage in Hermantown through an open door about 11 p.m. Friday and tried to go aft...

A Hermantown man who did battle with a bobcat hopes to have the animal trapped.

Gary Lucia, 52, said Monday that he has hired a trapper. The bobcat entered Lucia's garage in Hermantown through an open door about 11 p.m. Friday and tried to go after the 11 ducks and one goose that Lucia keeps in the garage as pets. Lucia was in the garage using a laptop computer at the time.

When the bobcat pinned some of the ducks in a corner, Lucia went after the bobcat. A skirmish ensued, during which Lucia was either clawed or bitten in the head, he told the News Tribune. The incident lasted about 10 minutes. Eventually, the bobcat ran away.

Lucia said he thinks a bobcat may be responsible for some neighbors' pets that have gone missing in the area in the past. Earlier Friday evening, Lucia said, one of his pet ducks went missing after he had let all his ducks out. He suspects the bobcat got that duck.

"What happened to my ducks should be a red flag," Lucia said.

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He has hired trapper Paul Zieroth of Saginaw, who has placed three snares on Lucia's rural property. Zieroth placed the snares Saturday evening, Lucia said.

"I found some cat tracks," Zieroth said. "But I suspect the bobcat moved on. They've got a big home range."

Zieroth said he plans to leave the snares out for a couple of weeks, checking them regularly.

Lucia thinks the Department of Natural Resources should be paying for the trapper's work to protect the area.

"We would trap if it were an ongoing case where people were threatened or in danger, or an animal had done damage," said Martha Minchak, DNR assistant area wildlife manager in Duluth.

In this case, she said, the interaction between Lucia and the bobcat was preventable.

"What could have prevented the entire situation is if he had kept the door closed while he was out there working," Minchak said.

Lucia, who says he's a vegetarian, keeps domestic ducks as pets. Zippie, the Canada goose he has, was rescued as a gosling, he said.

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"I had to teach it to eat. Now I'm trying to teach it to fly," he said. "I run through the yard flapping my arms, saying, 'Fly, Zippie.' "

Lucia suffered scratches on his forehead, cheek, the back of his head and his back. He initially declined treatment, but later went to a doctor and received several staples to close the gash in his head.

Related Topics: HERMANTOWNHUNTING
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