The Internet’s newest celebrity may be small, but he has a big attitude.
A roughly 4-to-6-month-old bobcat in Utah – dubbed "Mr. Murderbritches" – has made headlines for his feisty personality, which he exhibited with swats and hisses as Joshua Carver, a conservation officer with the state’s Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), first released the snarling cat back into the wild after he was caught “red pawed” eating a chicken out of a coop in Kanarraville.
The video, initially posted by the Utah DWR on Nov. 26, went viral after the Center for Biological Diversity, a non-profit organization based in Arizona, reposted it with “quotes” from the feline himself.
“I GET U BOI,” the bobcat “says” while snarling and swatting at Carver in the video. “I SAVAGE U,” he adds with a hiss.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the video had more than 700,000 views on Twitter.
Carver was first made aware of Mr. Murderbritches after a homeowner in Kanarraville spotted the feline in their chicken coop on Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving. The cat was in the coop but hadn’t killed any chickens at the time. He was let out by an Iron County sheriff’s deputy, Carver told Fox News on Tuesday.
A live trap was promptly set up just in case Mr. Murderbritches returned, and he did: The following day the cat was found in the trap. He was subsequently held for one night in captivity and was later released away from the property.
But the cunning feline somehow found his way back. This time, he successfully killed and ate a chicken from the coop.
Carver then took the cat to a mountainous area west of where he was first found. But little to Carver’s knowledge, this wouldn’t be his last encounter with the feline. Mr. Murderbritches then made his way to an isolated property miles away from where he was freed. There, he was found stuck in a dog kennel.
“He was probably looking for an easy meal and got scared [by the dog],” Carver theorized.
Carver captured the cat once more, feeding him a delicious meal of roadkill deer and a pheasant killed by an eagle before releasing the feline even farther away near Indian Peaks, an area Carver said provides “a lot of food resources.” The conservation officer hasn't seen him since.
Carver said bobcats typically leave their mother at about six months of age. While Mr. Murderbritches appears to be small, his willingness to hunt for food — even trekking for miles to do so — is a good sign for the juvenile.
“I do everything in my power to protect wildlife,” Carver said. “The best case here is to try to [help him] make it on his own. If he wasn’t doing well we wouldn’t have released him; we would have looked for a rehab center to take him to.”
And while the Mr. Murderbritches’ behavior may scare some, Carver found it amusing.
"I get a kick out of wildlife being wild."
“I get a kick out of wildlife being wild,” Carver said, noting the cat was “too mean” for the conservation officer to tell if the animal was male or female at first.
“Reaching out and getting [swatted] ... he cracked me up,” Carver said, noting he never expected the video of the first release to go viral.
“I liked his attitude,” he added.