A family of bobcats will be released back into the wild after being found at a Marana middle school.
The mother and her three baby bobcats were discovered Tuesday morning at Tortolita Middle School. The Marana School District says the cats were discovered on campus during a routine safety walk before classes.
"This is the first time we've called for a bobcat," said Russell Federico, the district executive director of school services. "As as you know we're in the Sonoran desert and we have wildlife near our campuses."
Federico says a note was sent home to parents notifying them of the bobcats, but students never came into contact with the animals. The cats were in an area of the campus students don't use, and it was cornered off before school began.
The school contacted Arizona Animal Experts to humanely trap the animals. Marc Hammond, who runs the business, says two of the baby bobcats were in a drain pipe. They had to be taken out with 60 feet of tubing.
"This particular one we were concerned because she had kittens, and she would be protective of them," Hammond said.
Hammond says bobcats typically will not do any harm to people, and if you see them appreciate them in their natural habitat. The four bobcats will be released back into the wild.
Before he started Animal Experts, Hammond worked with PACC for more than 20 years. He often travels to schools to talk to kids about dealing with wild animals.
The company responds to wildlife calls from everything to bats, snakes and bobcats. Hammond says they have contracts with students throughout the area.