It wasn’t what Coby Reid and his colleagues expected to find as they completed track inspections Thursday morning just outside of Trail, in southeastern B.C.
A bobcat’s hind paws were frozen to the tracks. In front of it, a breakfast of fresh duck.
“At first we approached it, and we were going to actually cover it up with a coat,” before freeing it, Reid told Radio West host Sarah Penton.
But the bobcat began to hiss, growl and lunge.
“It definitely wasn’t the cute cat that you see in the picture,” said Reid with a chuckle, adding he was surprised that such a low-pitched and fearsome sound could come from such a small animal.
It should be noted, the CBC has not independently corroborated that the feline in question was indeed a bobcat and not the confusingly similar lynx — dopplegangers that even stump the experts.
Reid, a train conductor, believes the bobcat plucked a duck from the nearby river Thursday morning and dragged it up to the tracks for its morning feast. But as the bobcat was likely wet and the weather so cold, it found itself trapped.
The workers called their boss who brought a pail of warm water.
Within an hour from when they first found it, the bobcat was freed, but Reid says it wasn’t quite ready to give up its prime dining location. Or, more likely, didn’t want to part with its half-eaten waterfowl.
Reid says they had to scare him off, then chucked the leftovers to the side.
And luck was with the bobcat that day because a train sped through about 30 minutes after he left.
Friday morning, during another track inspection, Reid said he spotted some bobcat tracks along the rail in the same area.
“We know he’s doing well,” he said.
You can listen to the full interview below:
Radio West6:54Train conductor sets free a bobcat frozen to the track