A Bobcat Tale
HERE KITTY KITTY
Wildlife rehabilitators are a skeptical group and for good reason. We take thousands of calls each year from the public needing help with wildlife critters and quite often animals are misidentified. Some of the more comical ones have been a baby pigeon that was thought to be an eagle and a potato bug believed to be a duck.
Pat was leery when a kind caller from Murphys indicated she had a bobcat kitten on her porch. She asked the lady if she was certain that this was not simply a feral kitten. The caller insisted that the kitten was indeed a bobcat. She told Pat that there had been blasting in her area and she believed that a den had possibly been disturbed.
Pat responded to Murphys and was prepared with a carrier and heavy gloves just in case the identification was correct. Bobcats are beautiful, powerful and never, ever tame even as kittens.
She was surprised to arrive to find a beautiful little bobcat kitten snarling and frightened. These are secretive creatures, rarely seen, but common even though they avoid any human contact. This kitten reluctantly went into the carrier and this is how her second chance at freedom began.
This little girl was wild and powerful, but much too young to be on her own. She was placed into a large enclosure where she could learn to climb, hide and grow. Tri County Wildlife Care always tries to pair like species so they grow up with no bond to humans. Unfortunately, in this instance, there were no other bobcat kittens to pair with this one.
As she grew, this kitten turned into a wild cat, hiding, snarling, growling and letting us know she was wild. Before any predators leave our care, we give them live mice to assure they know how to hunt to feed themselves. This girl quickly showed she had the skills necessary to survive.
A wild place was found near her original home that provided water, food and shelter. On release day, this incredible cat shot out of the carrier. It is always a privilege for us to see these amazing creatures up close and the few moments when they are released is our payday.
Returning creatures to the wild is more than enough to make all of the hard work worthwhile. Tri County Wildlife Care, a non-profit founded in 1994, is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of local wildlife and helping the public learn to live in balance with nature. They envision a world where humans and wildlife thrive together. For more information, please call 209-283-3245 or visit www.pawspartners.org.
PawsPartners.org is an alliance formed between A-PAL Humane Society of Amador County and Tri County Wildlife Care, the latter serving native wildlife in Amador, Calaveras, and Eastern San Joaquin Counties. Since inception we have added the Shelter Partners volunteer group, who support our local Animal Control organization, and Amador County Animal Response Team (ACART).