A Morgan Hill man has been charged with killing a bobcat -- before skinning and eating it -- while high on methamphetamine.
According to Mercury News, deputies were searching for a marijuana farm in an unincorporated area near Morgan Hill when they found 38-year-old Henry Arnibal living in trailer with about 50 roosters, which authorities believe were being raised for cockfighting. Inside the trailer, deputies found methamphetamine and cockfighting gaffs, or sharp hooks attached to the legs of a rooster to be used as weapons.
But in a wildly more interesting discovery, they also found the preserved carcass of a bobcat hanging from a fence.
"They [deputies] talked to the person who was on the property and they wondered why the carcass was there," explained Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Steve Lowney to NBC Bay Area. "What they found out was that, apparently the bobcat had eaten five of the roosters a day or two prior, and that the person had taken a .22 caliber rifle and shot the bobcat, and then ate the bobcat and hung it on a fence."
Arnibal is facing a number of misdemeanors surrounding the incident, including charges for drug possession, carrying cockfighting gaffs and killing a bobcat. He is not, however, facing any charges for eating it.
Lowney explained that it is not illegal to eat a bobcat, but it is illegal to kill one without a permit. "In order to kill a bobcat under these circumstances you would have to get what's called a Depredation Permit," he said. "Let's say something is killing your roosters or killing your chickens that you are raising legitimately. You could then apply for a license to kill the animal to prevent them from doing that. And that didn't occur here."
No word on whether Arnibal cooked the meat prior to eating. (We're unclear on what constitutes a "preserved carcass." Bobcat tartare?) But this got us thinking: how would one prepare bobcat?
Thanks to predatorwild.com, we have our answer: Bobcat Backstrap Fajitas. See the recipe below and eat hearty, friends.
Bobcat Backstrap Fajitas
- Mix a dry rub using equal parts garlic salt, onion powder, Old Bay seasoning, Adobo seasoning and crushed bay leaves. Rub meat down until evenly coated, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Grill meat until medium with onions and red peppers.
- Serve with warm tortillas.
For more information on the incident, check out NBC's interview with Deputy Lowney.