A rare glimps into the life of a release program bobcat
Normally, on this site, you will see photos of our long term bobcats in our sanctuary program. This is because bobcats must not become imprinted on humans. Our release program bobcats have as little contact with us as possible.
Trying to balance that with monitoring thier health and behavior can be a challenge. Treating a release program cat can be even more challenging! I wanted to give you a glimps into the life of a member of the most misunderstood species in our region.
This is “Larry”. I mentioned in a previous post that we name our animals alphabetically. We are already on bobcat number 12 for this year. We call this cat scarface…when he growls, it is very asymetrical. He has had some sort of damage to the right side of his face.
Larry has been in our ICU ward for about two weeks now. We have been medicating him in his daily diet. Yesterday, he showed us that he is now well enough to move outside. Here he is in his new enclosure.
His snarl is still crooked, but he should still be ready to return to the wild in a few more days. Once we are sure he is well enough to take care of himself, he will get to be wild again.
The bobcats in our release program are handled very differently from our sanctuary cats. They still get fed daily (some programs incorporate fasting days for release animals. The thinking is that once released, these animals are not guaranteed a daily meal, and therefore, fasting them occasionally will condition them). Our thinking on this subject is feeding them daily not only seems kinder, but it also gives us an opportunity at least once a day to monitor their health.
An animal’s health can deteriorate extremely rapidly if the symptoms are not caught early. One day of illness taking hold can be the difference between life or death in some cases, and we do not risk it.
I only took one photo of Larry. Like I said, we minimize the amount of contact they have with us. I just wanted to share a small glimps of the amazing things going on at WCCR. If we had not been here to take in Larry, the animal control facility that we picked him up from would very likey have had to euthanize him. WCCR gave him his second chance, and he is so close to being wild again!