Businesses are often successful because they do the work their customers aren’t qualified to do.
In the case of 1st Response Wildlife, a licensed humane animal trapper company, it’s also work that customers don’t want to do.
Capturing snakes, bobcats, skunks, pack rats, bats and stray domestic animals may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for business owner Josh Waling, it’s just another day on the job.
Waling, who has five years experience with a previous trapping company, decided to branch out on his own six months ago. In addition to capturing animals and relocating animals that pose threats to public safety, Waling delivers injured, sick, or orphaned animals to rehabilitation centers.
While there are a handful of wildlife trapping companies in Tucson, not many are licensed to handle the vast variety of animals that 1st Response Wildlife can.
Aside from ocelots, mountain lions, jaguars, and in most cases, javelina, Waling’s license allows him to capture and relocate any type of animal in Arizona.
That’s not to say doing so is always easy. Raccoons in chimneys, bobcats in trees, and rattlesnakes in bushes are just some of the everyday challenges that come with the job.
“The adrenaline rush. The opportunity to do what not a lot of people can do,” said Waling about why he loves the job. “No two calls are the same.”
The variety of wildlife in the Sonoran Desert can often present life threats to people in Waling’s field of work.
In addition to larger predators, Arizona is home to 13 species of rattlesnakes, according to the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Included in that number are the Tiger rattlesnake and Mohave rattlesnake, the latter of which is widely considered the most deadly snake in the country.
“If you get bitten by a Mohave rattlesnake, and you don’t seek medical attention, you will die,” said Waling, who is not equipped with anti-venom on the job due to its shelf life and need for refrigeration.
While a scary consideration, Waling added that if animals are left alone, they will almost always end up fleeing when faced with a threat. In cases where they pose immediate danger to safety, or are interfering with a person’s home, Waling will implement his services of relocating them.
In some cases, such as with bobcats, relocation is a sort of science because it can cause territorial issues.
“One or two bobcats may share territory, but if they ever cross paths, it’s going to be a fight, and it’s usually to the death,” said Waling.
Waling, in addition to his five years of professional experience, has been handling various animals for 18 years. In his spare time, he works to educate the public on matters related to wildlife. He is available for service calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
More information on services offered can be found at www.1stresponsewildlife.com or by calling Josh Waling at 260-9517.