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Group says saboteur is preventing cat rescue

Group says saboteur is preventing cat rescueA cat with its head stuck in a small bird feeder, nicknamed Butterscotch, is shown in Brandon, Man., Wednesday, July 23, 2014 in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Colleen Gareau

BRANDON, Man. - Searchers who have been trying to rescue a cat with a bird feeder stuck on its head in Manitoba say their efforts to trap the hapless animal are being sabotaged.

The Brandon and Area Lost Animals group began setting out traps over a week ago after the cat, nicknamed Butterscotch, was spotted with the feeder on its head in a Brandon neighbourhood.

The cat couldn't be easily captured because it could see out of one eye and was still able to run, and even jump, to evade the rescuers.

The group set traps, but says a man in the neighbourhood has shone lights, clapped his hands and used other techniques to scare Butterscotch away.

They say they've moved their traps onto private property, but their traps have been found and purposely damaged.

They say volunteers have spotted a man at night moving around the traps and shining bright lights, but that he moves back onto his own property by the time police arrive.

"Police have advised us to call them when we need to. Police officers on duty have been supportive and assisted however they could," said Toni Gramiak, an organizer with the group, in an email.

"Police have suggested we move the trap away from the man's sights, which we did. The man searched for, and found the new location each time."

While the cat can move, searchers fear it cannot eat or drink with the feeder on its head.

Butterscotch, who was given the name because of his ginger-and-white colouring, is believed to be a stray and is frightened of people. For that reason, the rescue group has asked that people keep away from the traps. They've also asked anyone who spots the cat to stay clear and report the location to them.

The traps have been baited with tuna, sardines and cat food, but Butterscotch has so far avoided them.

The rescue group said it had to use larger traps to enable the cat to enter with the feeder on its head.

It said volunteers were devastated to return to the traps and find they had been toppled over and damaged. It said its most expensive trap will need to be repaired before it can be used again.

Anyone who spots the cat is asked to refrain from posting the location on social media sites or other public forums.

No one was immediately available to comment Saturday from the Brandon Police Service.

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