Yesterday while browsing the site I stumbled upon an observation of a wildcat cub. I will not specify the species or link the observation for privacy reasons, but if you’re a staff member or curator and would like to do something about it, please send me a direct message.
The reason why I’m concerned about it is because the last image depicts a man holding the cub a little too tightly. That by itself is not a big deal, but after sharing the observation with other naturalists, one of them pointed out that the location is inside an airport. A red flag for me.
I guess this could be cleared up by adding context - How did they find the Feline, what are they going to do with it, etc. but all the description says is “Just born a week ago.”, which leads to me assuming that the observer or someone they know saw the Feline being born and have now captured it, which is why another naturalist marked it as captive. Worst case scenario this is a case of animal trafficking.
A recent post discuss whether it’s okay to post observations of animals that one has hunted, and under site guidelines they are allowed. I don’t have a problem with that and in fact I understand that hunting is part of human nature, as well as a good method of population control for species whose predators are extinct or scarce in the area. But when it comes to animal cruelty and trafficking, I feel there should be rules. As naturalists we engage in conservation by recording new populations, monitoring already existing ones, and doing an effort to keep fragile populations safe. which is why believe taking a cub from its family and habitat is against the naturalist spirit.
Of course this could all be my imagination, but whether it is animal trafficking or not, my point still stands.