A glimps into the world of wildlife rehabilitation…the world through a rehabber's eyes.

Assisting the Bobcats

Through a persistant and lifelong interest in nature and in animals, I have happened uppon the opportunity to not only work in close proximity with one of Texas’ most amazing predators, but to actually touch, hold, and interact with some of these awesome cats through work with the Wildlife Center at Cross Timbers Ranch in Terrell Texas.

Don’t get me wrong. Our ultimate goal is to re-introduce these cats back into nature. We take them in, we protect and heal them, and then we release them in a location where it is ideal for them to thrive. Unfortunately, not all of our cats make it to the point where they are ready for release. Some of them will never know what it means to be truely wild. These are the ones that make me pause in awe, and draw my breath before I enter their enclosure. Many of these animals find homes at educational facilities but some of them stay with us.

At WCCR, we don’t believe in barrier policies for our cats. With no barriers, these cats who thrive on social interaction and personal bonds gleen what they need from their relationships with us in a frustration free environment. These animals are never forced to behave in a manor in which they choose not to. They completely guide their interactions with us.

If a purring Quincy chooses to climb on my shoulder, and rub his face in my hair and steal my ponytail holder, I let him. If he chooses to completely ignore me, I let him. If he doesn’t want to interact with me, I don’t force him. Though he may end up remaining in a captive environment, we strive to never take the wild out of the cat, and to never make him do anything against his nature.

Each day, diet is hauled from the freezer to thaw in the food prep area. Each enclosure is cleaned, old food removed and thrown away. Fresh diet is prepared and fortified for each cat.

Currently, we have 19 cats on the property. The releasable ones that are left from 2010 are overwintering at the ranch. when they are ready later this year, they too will be released like the many bobcats before them.

WCCR intakes and releases the greatest number of cats in Texas, and possibly in the nation.

What does it take to care for so many? Well, an awful lot of food, and of course, what we all need to keep running. Money. We go through pounds of food every day. Unfortuately, feeding bobcats isn’t cheap. they eat the expensive stuff. Meat. Much of our diet comes from donations. We always need donations. As a not for profit organization, we can not only accept donations, but offer receipts for tax deductions, but sometimes that isn’t helpful if people don’t know you are out there.

Hopefully in the near future, more and more people will know we are out there, and they will see the amazing things that happen in this place. There are many amazing projects in the works at WCCR, and I, and others like me are glad for the opportunity to be a part of it. Many of us have graduated from a pioneer program named the WREN project. The goal of this project is to make steps toward the standardization of wildlife rehabilitation.

The amount of knowleged that we don’t have is amazing when you are faced with the amount of information that isn’t out there. Especially when it comes to predators. People love to see little bunnies, squirrels, and deer. They love to hear their stories, and tales of how people have saved them. The nitch that predators fill instills fear in people. It causes us to avoid them, and we become oblivious to the role they play in our world, and make up wild, fear filled stories of what they may do to us if we come face to face with them. Through programs like the WREN project, not only do we learn how to help attempt to counteract the completely un-natural environment in which many animals find injury, but we finds in us the ability to pass on REAL knowlege. Knowledge that seems to become lost in our ever shrinking, ever more technology fueled world.

If anybody out there is reading this, and feels the desire to help, or would just like to know more about what we do, drop us an email at kari@crosstimberswildlife.org. That is my e-mail address through this phenominal organization.


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