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Capturing cats | Preston Citizen

Capturing cats

December 4, 2012

County probation officer travels to remote places seeking elusive animals 



Citizen editor

Boone Smith, a juvenile probation officer for Franklin County, works with kids in trouble during the week, but on his time away from the office he likes to chase and collar cats.

He’s not chasing cats around the neighborhood. He’s out chasing meat eaters in the wild. In June of this year, Smith went to Afghanistan, despite the on-going war, to capture one of the world’s most elusive cats, the Snow Leopard, for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Smith’s hunting and capture of the big cat was the subject of a National Geographic Society (NGS) documentary.

Smith tries to fly under the radar and keep a low profile about his work with big cats for different wildlife conservation groups he works with.

Boone Smith puts a radio collar on a rare Snow Leopard in Afghanistan in June. He is featured in an upcoming National Geographic documentary.

Having been raised on the family’s Riverdale cattle ranch, he is used to the quiet country life with no hoopla. He said he’s been trapping since he was in elementary school. “If there is one cat I had an opportunity to catch and collar, it would be the Snow Leopard,” he said.

Even though he is still very uncomfortable with people knowing about his side job with organizations like the WCS, when National Geographic starts hyping his work and putting him on television, it will be hard to keep it a secret.

“Some guys do construction for a part-time job. I’m lucky I get to do what I love and that is chasing and collaring big cats,” Smith said, like catching large carnivores was no big deal.

This story is sponsored by LaMont Automotive.

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