For Coby Reid, it was a typical day on the job. As a train conductor in Trail, British Columbia, he is responsible for ensuring that travel and commerce on the rails flows smoothly. Most mornings, he and his coworkers can be found walking the tracks and making sure that there are no obstacles or emergencies in preparation for that day’s transit.
That Thursday morning, as he and his crew inspected a remote strip of track near the Columbia River, they kept an eye out for any obstructions caused by the continuing snowfall and overnight freezing. It was then that they spotted something highly unusual.
Laying on the tracks, his dappled coat blending into the rocky surroundings, was a hungry bobcat. At first, Reid and his colleagues were unsure if the bobcat was healthy — out of concern, they planned to warm him up by putting a coat over him. They approached, and the bobcat began to growl and signal aggression, so they backed off. He was eating a duck that he’d pulled from the Columbia River, and seemed unwilling to give up his prime catch.
On closer examination, though, they realized the bobcat wasn’t just unwilling to move from his spot — he was unable. After fishing his breakfast out of the ice-cold water, his hind legs had become frozen to the track when he laid on the metal, like a tongue stuck to a frozen flagpole. Disoriented and frustrated, the bobcat continued to hiss and even attempted a lunge at Reid and his crew.
The situation was tense. Faced with an animal on the tracks who needed — but didn’t want — their help, Reid and his crew brainstormed. Eventually, they came up with a solution that would free the cat, clear the tracks, and keep everyone as safe as necessary while doing so.
Over the course of an hour, Reid and his team were able to call in some help and use a bucket of warm water to thaw the frost and release the confused critter from his spot on the tracks. Although he was hesitant to leave what was left of his meal, the team was able to get the bobcat to safety only 30 minutes before a train was scheduled to pass through.
With disaster averted, the team and the bobcat went their separate ways. The next day, when inspecting the rails, Reid and his team spotted a fresh set of bobcat tracks nearby. “We know he’s doing well,” Reid explained in an interview with CBC.
Fortunately, Reid and his team knew exactly how to handle the sticky situation, and the bobcat was saved! While he may still be grumpy about losing out on his breakfast, I’m sure the formerly frozen feline appreciates keeping one of his 9 lives for another day! Watch the full video below:
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