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

pulling stakes

The management team for The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch has been exploring our options to keep WCCR running. Our nursery is filling up, with the arrival of Riley, Stig, and Theo yesterday (06/04/11), we now have almost ten kits in the nursery. Theo is very critical, and requires round the clock care. A citizen attempting to raise hims, received him already very sick. Baby bobcats are extremely sensitive, especially if they are already ill. Without proper care, these babies will die within 72 hours. This citizen brough him to a domestic animal vet, where not only was Theo given the wrong medication, but an incorrect medical treatment plan. Had this plan been followed, Theo would not have made it through the night. So little is known about these animals, that when people bring these sick babies to the vet, the majority of the time, they are given the wrong treatment, and the wrong medications. Theo was lucky. Many more that we do not get into our care, are not so fortunate. 

Riley and Stig are in good shape, and are waiting out their quarantine to join the others. In the release program, we have a handful of last year’s babies, and one new juvenile named Queso. He is extremely imprinted, has absolutely no bobcat socialization (he has no idea how to interact with bobcats. All of his social skills were developed by observing humans), and will require extended care while WCCR teaches him to be wild again. Normally, the rehab of a bobcat costs $2,000 or more. For a serious imprinting case like Queso’s, the price increases with each subsequent day he remains in care. For critical cases like Nadia and Theo, the cost can be substantially more. Often, when we pick up critical babies, the caring people who find these babies and call us offer to raise money for a donation to assist with care. Just like in Nadia’s case. Most of the time, these donations fall through, and we must rely on money out of our own pockets to save these babies.

During the height of baby season, we are considering moving. If you have been reading, you know that WCCR is fighting past our stumbling block. The owners of the WCCR grounds have experienced health issues that prevent them from continuing in their current capacity here at WCCR. Therefore, we are seeking to either purchase the facility, or move to a cheaper location. In order to do that, we must get some serious large-scale donations. I am talking down payment sized and larger donations. If we move, we will need a down-payment for a new property with a house on it so that someone can be with the cats at all times, and thousands of dollars for caging that we will need to build once we move.

This facility takes in more animals than most animal control divisions do in a year. We run solely on a volunteer staff, and the occasional donation from a caring person who understands the need to protect the wild ones, and the world that they come from. We are attempting to generate enough funding to pay a small staff to ensure the care of our animals remains consistent and reliable. So far, we have had little luck with this endeavor. The people involved in this place, the people I work with, have more heart, desire, and empathy than anyone else in the world. We want more than anything to see this place become everything we know it can. It started with the vision of an amazing person with the drive to take on the challenges that others told her were not possible. She possessed the desire to take on the challenge of the equivalent of the pit bull of the wildlife world.

She is a trail blazer, and a visionary, and the quiet force behind the amazing things we have achieved here at The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch over the years. She understood the need to not only rehabilitate the cute fuzzy bunnies, and the nutty squirrels, but to the “scary” predators, and the full circle of the natural world. One side cannot exist without the other, and those that choose to remain blind and ignorant to the circle of life and each animal’s place in our worlds and their habitats choose ignorantly to deem these true predators evil, vicious, aggressive, and dangerous. The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch chooses to challenge this unsubstantiated view.

Through the years, guided by our intrepid leader, we have become the largest bobcat facility, and one of the foremost authorities on bobcats in the nation. Intaking 50-60 bobcats a year, we currently rehabilitate and provide sanctuary for 15 times the number of bobcats than any other facility in the United States. This unique operation provides us a one of a kind insight into this extremely elusive species. Even veterinary medicine for these animals is very much up to guess-work. The research we do, and education we provide here is unrivaled. Unfortunately, there is little to no funding for the kind of work we do.

It is essential for us to maintain a facility in order to continue growing and developing, and providing a safe haven for this extremely misunderstood animal. Not just for the bobcats, but for all animals native to the Texas urban areas and countryside. Nearly 10,000 animals have found their way to our doors, and more than 90% of them have returned to the wild. This Wildlife Center has made its mark in the rehabilitation, conservation, and education arenas. Our goals are to augment our research on these animals, their habitats, dietary and medical needs, and to increase access to relevant education and conservation efforts pertaining to the wildlife in our own back yards.

We cannot do this alone. We need donations and support to continue our work. Donations and support from people like you. Monetary donations are what we are hurting for most at the moment. Something as simple as a $15.00 donation is a tremendous help to the Wildlife Center. These small donations help us get by to make it through and have funding available for the big things that come up like the repairs on our ranch truck, building new enclosures, enrichment for our residents, and medical supplies for our sick babies. Even if you cannot spare $15.00 today, volunteering or even voting for us on the Toyota 100 Cars for Good Facebook app on July 21st would be tremendously appreciated. Our old ranch truck is about to bite the dust, and with the hundreds of other things going on right now at the ranch, we really need this vehicle.

The Wildlife Center has no intentions of closing its doors, but we do need help. Our four dedicated volunteer staff members are trying hard to find grants and other donations to assist with the things we need to continue. Currently, our volunteer staff members work around their “real” jobs, and spend as much time as possible here at the ranch. It makes for a lag in our research, enrichment projects, and kit rearing. In the future, we hope to change that 🙂


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