The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch has received a very special guest that urgently needs your help. His name is Ulyses, and he is only ten weeks old. He has been separated from his mother and siblings, and the poor little guy has suffered some serious trauma in his short life.
Ulyses is a bobcat, and he already has a special place in the hearts of all of the staff members here at WCCR. You see, at this tender age, he has had a little altercation with a dog…that resulted in a compound fracture of his leg, and massive infection. This poor little wild one is terrified and alone, and he can’t even yet have a buddy to comfort him. For now, until his condition improves a bit, his stuffed animal is his closest companion.
The thought of this poor little guy terrified and hurting tugs at my heartstrings every time. Especially when all we can do is sit back, and support him on his journey 😦
Here at Crosstimbers, we do 90% of our medical treatment on site.
There are many reasons for this that I may go into in some future blog, but for right now, my main focus is to help this little one return to the wild. But in order to do that, I am going to have to solicit some help! To rehab a single (healthy) bobcat from kitten to release, costs more than $2,000 and over 12 months in feeding and maintenance alone. Any medical treatment or other operational care all comes at additional expense.
For Ulyses, the cost will probably be more than double that figure.
His tiny leg will be set in his heart emblazoned cast for at least the next six weeks, and he will need some heavy-duty antibiotics (as well as other medications) to battle the massive infection.
Supportive care will also include a special immune system supporting diet and eventually, physical therapy.
Little Ulyses had to be sedated for this procedure, so once his cast was secured, he was placed in isolation to recover from anaesthesia.
His ongoing care, rehabilitation, and physical therapy are going to be major hurdles for WCCR this year. The economy has put a squeeze on us all, and we are definitely feeling it. We are trying to raise $500 towards his ongoing care, and every cent helps.
If every person who read this blog donated just ten dollars, that total sum would mean a massive step towards going back to the wild for this amazing cat! Every bit helps! If you want to be a wildlife hero, click on that donate button on the right hand column! I know we can do this. Lets get Ulyses back to the wild, together!
Yesterday, we gave all of the bobcats flea treatments and vaccinations. They were not amused….Nothing like trying to frontline and stick five pissed off 15-30lb razor blades. Not to mention, it does not make for photogenic kitties….
The release program cats are always far easier to catch, vaccinate, and treat. Why, you ask? The long-term bobcats are completely used to being handled, and aren’t easily bluffed. They know what we are up to, and they know exactly how to make it as hard as possible for us to do anything with them. It probably took ten minute per cat for the long terms, and closer to five for the release programs.
We vaccinated everyone except for Giggles (a release program bobcat that came in late last year. She got a special name because she has an odd habit of sticking her tongue out when she growls at you…it is rather adorable), and Olly. Giggles and Olly seem to be suffering from some sort of mild cold, and we do not want to stress their immune systems with a vaccine until they are over their illness. I should stop here and mention that when Giggles came in, she was far smaller, and appeared to be a female (the different sexes seem to have different facial structures, which WCCR is researching). However, recently, after moving her from isolation back into the release program pen, we realized that she did not have girl parts, but boy parts. However, she has been here, and called female for so long, that we all continue to refer to her as “she”.
Once Giggles and Olly are over their colds (that they are being treated for), we are looking at releasing Giggles, and Irving. Hopefully, I will be able to post some good video of the release 🙂
The reason we vaccinate is the high volumes of animals usually on the property. We get bobcats (and other species) from all over the region. They all come in for various reasons, and vaccinations are a good way to stay on top of disease prevention.
All of the staff members at WCCR are highly trained and have tons of experience working with bobcats. These cats may not be huge, but they are extremely powerful, and can inflict a lot of damage for someone not trained to work with them. If you have an issue with a bobcat, while WCCR does not trap bobcats, and prefers that they stay in their natural environment, we do handle cases of confined bobcats. Please feel free to contact us if you do have a bobcat that needs help. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HANDLE A BOBCAT ON YOUR OWN!
I am really suprised that we haven’t had any new bobcats come in for the past few weeks…by now we should have babies. I guess the late hard freeze has a lot to do with that. Baby season has been really slow this year so far. You can always contact me at email@example.com if you need assistance with a bobcat.
I know you guys are acustomed to photos, so here is one of the bobkittes before they were all mad at us!
We had a new volunteer come to WCCR this weekend. He worked really hard. We have a lot of stuff that needs tidying, and he definately did alot! The best part is, Quincy got a new toy out of it!
He spent like two hours in this thing after we moved it in there! There are several different shaped and sized holes in it so he can crawl all through it. I am thoroughly impressed with the job he did! The project started as a platform for Quincy to jump out of his barrel on to. The barrel swings, so when he tries to jump out, it is a straight shot to the ground. The idea was to give him a raised platform to save him some stress on his shoulders and back.
Honestly, when he said he could build him something, I was expecting something that just looks like a sturdy table. What he came up with was awesome! And the best part is how much Quincy loves it! We were trying to coax him out of his fort for a good 30 minutes with that peacock feather!
It is about three feet tall, and super solid. all four sides are enclosed, so Quincy has a great place to hide out.
The next step is to paint it so it looks pretty! I don’t think Quincy cares what color it is! Enrichment comes in many forms…
I was doing some research on my own, just to see what kind of information I could find out there on bobcats…the problem is, there really isn’t any consistant information. One site I came across (a .edu site, no less) even stated that baby bobcats have a well defined rosette pattern to their coat, but as they grow, their spots become less defined. this is NOT TRUE! Quincy is a great example of that. Here is a close up of his side, just to show you what I mean. He does not have well defined rosettes on his coat, nor will he develop them as he ages. Instead, for the most part, he has this freckled, mottled coat pattern.
Whatever coat pattern bobcats are born with, they keep through adulthood. Quincy will always have a freckled coat, and always has. You can see a few little rosettes towards his belly.
On the same token, we have several adult bobcats who DO have well defined rosette pattern to their coats.
You can see the difference in the clouded pattern of Hoover’s coat verses the freckled look of Quincy’s. Hoover’s brother Kirby, on the other hand, did not have rosettes. He had almost no spots at all.
A few of the goals at WCCR is to replace mis-information like this with good, solid, accurate information, and to augment the minimal knowledge that is available out there on this species.
I talked to our director a couple of days ago about where our center is heading. I truely am worried that we won’t be able to do enough to save this place. The health issues that our benifactors are experiencing have prooven that they can no longer continue in their current capacity at WCCR. I have sent out a couple of sponsorship requests, and started a few others. There is just too much information I need to put in these requests that is not readily available to me. I need someone to get the information, and put it in a packet for me because I do not have access to it myself. Problem is, none of this has been done.
It frustrates me to no end that we have so much going for us, and yet, we are struggling so hard. I am dying to hear good things back from the sponsorship requests that I have sent, but I know, and I keep telling myself that, there is a very real possiblity that the one or two requests I sent out will not render the results I am looking for. I am frustrated that until we pull together all of the things we need, I really don’t have any other places I can request funding from.
It is unfortunate that this was sprung on us so suddenly. Honestly, I would feel so much better about this if we had more time.
We are down to just 11 bobcats on the property, still a HUGE number for any other rehabilitation facility…for us, that is a tiny number. For WCCR, 7,000 animals is an average year. What is going to happen to all of the wildlife that would have come here if we close our doors? I am especially worried about the bobcats. There are NO other facilites that can handle the numbers of bobcats that we do. There are barely any facilities that can handle one or two bobcats a year, and even fewer that have the experience to rehab them.
I look at established centers like the Heard Museum, and look at their sponsorship page…it is HUGE! I am struggling just to find sponsorship programs…and submitting them is an entirely different animal. I am not a grant writer. I am just a supporter of WCCR, and who like the other members of our keystone group despirately wants to see this center get off the ground.
In two years, our accomplishments have been phenominal. The numbers of animals that have come through our doors more than highlights the necessity of this rehabilitation center in this area; It demands WCCR exhist.
For the past two years, we have been right on schedual with our growth and development plan that had already been layed out. We are entering year three of our development plan. The beginning of construction of our planned state of the art facility and clinic, and housing for interns and students of the WREN project.
Everything we need is already in place. The diet we feed takes care if it’s self, for the most part the materials we need take care of themselves, and honestly, it is a fairly self sustaining facility. Our key issue is not stuff so much, we just really need funding to cover our opperating costs at the moment. Our plan is to eventually bring in enough sponsors and grants to expand further, but our immenent need is opperating costs.
I hope it’s just for today that I feel so uncertain. I hope that I hear good things back from my efforts…