Thanks to everyone who has participated in our charity plant sale and helped to raise desperately needed funding to support all of the wonderful animals in our care! Each and every one of the animals that come into our facility have been granted a second chance by wonderful people like you who support our cause. Without you, none of these animals would even have the dream of becoming wild and free again one day. Many of them are in critical condition, and in need of a lot of very expensive treatment. Every penny counts!
We still have a huge selection of fruits, veggies, herbs, and flowers to choose from! Come on out, support our native wildlife, and beautify your garden! Don’t need any plants for your garden, but want a way to help out? Of course, donations are always graciously accepted and more appreciated than you know! We are also in need of great volunteers that can help clean up and organize our special events, and make sure our animals are provided with the best quality care while they are with us. Ask us about volunteer opportunities!
Charity plant sale benefiting Texas wildlife! 11605 County Road 2312, Terrell Tx Saturday and Sunday! April 21st – 22nd, and April 28th – 29th, 10am to dusk. Plants, herbs, tomatos, custom raised beds, green houses, and more! Come check out our wildlife!
Well guys, I know it’s been a while since you have heard from me here on the WCCR official blog. My little car died, and my old classic can’t make that journey often meaning I have had no means of getting out to the ranch as of late, so updates on goings on has been a little tough to say the least! Crosstimbers has managed to hang on through the new year. We are still in desperate need of donations and volunteers, and still in danger of having to close our doors, but we have so much work left to do! We aren’t ready for this ride to end yet!
Theo has gotten big, and so has his buddy Valentine. Theo has given is some very exciting insight into his world, and taught us some really cool new things. He has also been hard at work teaching others really cool things! What a wonderful little ambassador he is turning out to be!
Most of last year’s babies are now out in the pre-release pens, playing hard, and teaching each other to be wild! Little Valentine is not releasable due to some balance issues, and will fill his role as Theo’s companion very well. We are looking forward to a wonderful new year for WCCR, and are attempting to offer our wildlife rehabilitation class in the near future. As always, if you are interested, drop me a line! I would love to hear from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of our efforts to assist in dispelling the myth that bobcats are evil aggressive creatures, we have been holding live animal presentations on urban and rural bobcats. We participated at a Master Naturalist presentation recently, and mused on the odd grip media has on our psyche. What do you feel when you hear the word bobcat? Does it instill fear? Do you think of aggressive, dangerous wild animals?
What about the word raccoon? Impish, playful? Cute? The media has a lot to do with this perception. When was the last time you saw a headline that screamed “Squirrel seen in yard!” or “Raccoon seen in yard!”? Probably never. However, the minute a bobcat is seen, it is splashed all over the headlines.
Anyone who has spent time reading this blog has heard this before 🙂 and really, it isn’t the point of this post. I wanted to share a video with you, sent to me from one of the people to attended our urban/rural bobcat presentation and got to meet little Theo in person for his very first live animal presentation.
She keeps a wildlife camera set up on her property, and what she saw was a bobcat coming to eat! WordPress won’t let me upload a video without an annual fee, and we are currently locked out of our youtube account! So, you will have to go to Facebook to see it. Check it out! It’s pretty cool to see a wild bobcat doing what wild bobcats do!
Today, we made bobcat history! For the first time ever, we did an educational presentation, with a live bobcat! Two to be precise. Including our dear Theo. He did WONDERFUL! We are all so proud of him!
NBRR has put together a fantastic presentation on rural vs. urban bobcats, and we are working on integrating an element that anchors the presentation in reality by having a live education bobcat. The Master Naturalists Group asked us to present.
Theo was very good through the whole presentation, and was a real show stopper afterwards. He really helped bring the North American Bobcat to the forefront of people’s minds. The information that Valeri presented is stuff that has never been studied before. Just like the Murphy, Tx meeting. We had some wonderful questions.
Theo kept the energy flowing through tactile and visual experiences that reinforced the information in the presentation. Our little education hopeful is well on his way to becoming a fantastic presentation animal.
Theo may be on his way to changing how we as a society handles and associated with our native wildlife. What an amazing little guy! We hope that he and our other educational hopefuls will continue to be an ambasador for his species, and help to change people’s perceptions.
Apparently not! After a long bout of silence, we are again getting calls on baby bobs! Two from Plano, and a confiscation from Houston. His name is Peter, he is 4 months, and severely imprinted. At this age, the chances of reversing the imprint is not very good. Crosstimbers sees lots of bobcats every year. Many of them come in imprinted. This means they are accustom to, and even enjoy human interactions. If you have been following this blog, you know how dangerous that is for a predator which the public perceives as dangerous or aggressive.
It is all about public perceptions, and has precious little to do with the actual animal. Every year, a few imprinted bobcats end up at Crosstimbers. often, they are young; young enough to still have a chance at becoming wild again. Bobcats are wild animals, and they are wired to stay that way. However, they are also social. A wild animal hard wired to be a wild animal in a captive environment is not a good combination. The most dangerous animals we work with are the ones raised by people.
That is not to say that Peter is dangerous per se, but he has been played with in a very rough manner. He is accustomed to scratching and biting in play like a house cat…the difference is, Peter is going to be around 20+ pounds. That means we are going to have to do some major work with him. At Crosstimbers, we allow the cat to tell us when it is ready to be wild again. Some day, Peter may surprise us, and show us that he is ready. We shall see 🙂
Since the beginning of the year, WCCR has been struggling to keep it’s doors open, and struggling to continue accepting animals that need us. We have held on for what seems like a very long time. We vainly attempted to raise significant amounts of money to purchase our current location, or to help us move, and build cages without success.
I have tried to buy multiple properties to house us, and so far have been unsuccessful in that venture as well. It seems like every offer we make falls through for one reason or another. I fear that we may not be able to hold on much longer. The economy is still slumping, and donors have become exceedingly scarce. Running the largest wildlife center in the region out of our own pockets, and with a completely volunteer staff is nearly impossible. We have been watching other wildlife organizations close their doors left and right this season, and we are trying not to follow suit. Our cries for help and support have fallen on deaf ears, and we are at the mercy of time. Time is not on our side anymore.
The animal we have chosen to continue accepting is the North American Bobcat. We are one of a very small handful of supporters available for this amazing predator, and if we close our doors, they lose a significant player in their protection and advocacy. Not only will they suffer, but our education program will be brought to it’s knees. I have been saying for months that we are struggling, and always by some small miracle, we are able to hang on a while longer, but we cannot keep this up. I need more time. I am sure I can find the right property, but I need time. And time costs money. Lots of it. Lots of money that we do not have.
We have had some amazing successes this year, breaking our record in the numbers of babies we work with, pulling little Theo back from the brink over and over again, and some really great release stories. Do you remember the two siblings trapped by cock fighters? Tormented and traumatized, until they were awarded to us? They tasted freedom again; they were delivered from the evils of people through the compassion of better people. Wonderful people. People just like you who made their freedom possible again. The release of these lucky souls can be seen through the link on the upper right hand corner of your screen. It is entitled “Crosstimbers Bobcat Release”.
All of these stories exist because this organization exists. But we cannot keep existing without a little help. Rehabbing a baby bobcat costs an average of $2,000 or more. Right now, we have more than 20 in our release program alone. That is not including the non-release program cats. WCCR wants to continue saving and protecting these wonderful cats, but we need your help. As little as $20 makes a huge impact for a 501(c)3 like ours.
I know people hate being asked for money, but my mother always told me that all you can do is ask. And so, I am asking. I have been trying to raise $5,000 for Crosstimbers, and so far have been pitifully unsuccessful. So, my dear readers, I am asking. Can you contribute $20 dollars to my cause? I want nothing more in the world than to see Crosstimbers spread it’s wings. I believe in this organization, it’s goals, and it’s values. The only way to ensure the success of our planet is through supporting organizations that put environment, conservation, biodiversity, and education at the forefront of every aspect of their organization. If you can find it in your heart and your wallet to part with $20 dollars, it would mean the world to one of the most amazing grassroots organizations in Texas.
The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch is in a unique position to conduct research on a species that very little is known about. Yes, you can find out all kinds of information about bobcats. Just take a look on the internet. Use any browser you fancy. There will be plenty of web pages on the bobcat, but they will all basically be the same one or two page information sheet on “felis rufus” or “lynx rufus”.
The difference is, WCCR sees 60-70 bobcats annually. Many of them come in very young, often their eyes are not even opened. They also come in as litters, singles, and older cubs as well as adults. It gives us a wonderful perspective and insight into their personalities, habits, and social structures. The best way to learn more about a species is to observe large numbers of individuals of the species. WCCR is using our unique position as an opportunity to do exactly that.
One of the things we are supremely interested in is the social structure of bobcats. So far, we have found that rural bobcats act extremely different from urban bobcats. Not only this, but that these cats express far different behavior than one might expect. For example, Pixie and Quincey. Both of these cats are hopefuls for an education program. Pixie, a young female kit and Quincey a nearly two year old male entering into sexual maturity.
I caught Pix and Quinc in one of their regular grooming sessions. Pixie and Quincey spend their time cuddling and playing. Quincey mothers and loves on Pixie as if he was her daddy. He grooms her, removes fleas, and makes sure she is squeaky clean.
You can’t tell from this series of pictures, but Pixie is currently about half Quincey’s size. One might expect a young male coming into sexual maturity to be unkind or even aggressive to a young kit like Pixie, but years of observing and recording activities just like this one has shown the staff here at WCCR that this just isn’t the case. There is still so much that we do not know about these amazing and elusive animals. Who would have guessed that an adult male would be so nurturing with a cub that isn’t even his? The bobcat is not an aggressive animal, and certainly not one to be vilified or feared.
Durring this photo session, Pixie actually laid her head down, and closed her eyes. You can see the bond these two share just from these pictures. These guys are so emotional, and form such strong bonds with one another, and with us. It is pretty incredible that an animal considered fairly solitary by most common knowledge is so emotionally connected to other members of its species.
These cats fill a wonderful nitch in our urban and rural ecosystems, controlling populations of pest animals like rats, mice, and snakes. Yes, they will go after a cute bunny or a squirrel or quail, but rarely will they ever go after anything larger than that. When they do go after larger prey, it is out of desperation. Usually caused by being relocated, and therefore starvation due to lack of familiarity with the area. Bobcats stay within their home range their entire lives, and so relocating them causes them to struggle until they can become familiar with their new surroundings. Of course, there are other factors that would come into play in these and other scenarios.
The point is, there is little protection for an animal that we know incredibly little about. When is it time to take action? When humanity creates a rarity out of such a wide-spread animal that we do not know if we can bring it back from the brink? How are we to learn more about this animal if we don’t protect them?