A once beautiful bobcat, seen in the video above in the hills of Simi Valley, has died of mange, a serious skin disease. Officials with the National Park Service say that B-332 died on Dec. 19th. He was three years old. Bobcats can live for as long as twelve years in the wild, but they typically live for 3 to 4 years.
Mange is a skin disease caused by mites. The National Park Service has tracked 340 bobcats in the area since 1996 and documented a dramatic rise in mange since 2002. They say 30 other bobcats who died of mange also had traces of rat poison in their systems.
Homeowners and businesses in the area use poison to kill rats. Bobcats are carnivores who prey on mice and rats and ingest the poison. The poison doesn’t kill the bobcats directly, but biologists say it makes the animals more susceptible to serious manage.
B-332 made his home in the Simi Hills near Simi Valley between the 118 and 101 freeways. Its blood will be tested to see if it contains the blood thinner from rat poison.