I was asked by Passion 4 Paws Rescue to head to Mahwah, NJ to trap Bella, a southern rescue who escaped transport on her journey north to Vermont.
I was informed that there were search parties going on for Bella. I explained the importance of the area being quiet so that she could feel safe and not pursued, so that I could move forward with trapping her and bringing her to safety. We immediately requested that everyone who was in that area searching for Bella clear out.
Bella was last seen behind a chain link fence in a wooded area directly next to interstate 287 and route 17. She was in a VERY dangerous area and should she be chased or approached, she would bolt right into harms way.
Once everyone was cleared from the area, I was finally able to get my trap set up. Within an hour Bella made her appearance, as it was finally quiet enough for her to feel secure to come out of hiding.
She was now on the other side of the fence away from the highway but my trap was on the other side. She immediately found it and was pawing at and trying to get the food through the chain link fence. Search cars were still driving slowly through the area and I watched as they scared Bella away, yet again. I used this as an opportunity to call another volunteer named John, I needed his help hoisting the trap over to the other side. I climbed the 10 foot fence and he quickly helped me get the trap back over. The trap was now in position and waiting for Bella.
As I sat in my car watching from a distance, a group of deer stood all around the field, right in front of my car. Bella came bolting from across the field at 1:30am heading right for the trap stopping dead in her tracks, frozen in fear, staring at the deer. It was a stand off, with one buck pounding his foot to frighten her off, Bella bolted away again. The deer finally moved on and about a half hour later Bella came back, running up from the direction of the stoplight and intersection by the highway, she went IMMEDIATELY to my trap.
For about a half hour she walked around nose to the ground, went in part way, backed out and then began digging at the back of the trap trying to get the food. She finally went to the front again and slowly walked in step by cautious step... GOT HER! I immediately called two of the volunteers and told them to make the call to Robin at Passion 4 Paws Rescue and give her the great news...Bella was now SAFE!
I would like to thank all the wonderful people from New Jersey who were truly there for BELLA! Your hearts are huge and it was a collective effort filled with immense love.