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!
Tomorrow, I am getting up early to head to WCCR. I am taking Abigale with me. I will also be making a stop in Dallas to pick up one other from another rehabber.
The night I picked up Abigale, I suspected she may be blind. I tried to relocate her, and normally when we do this, they run as fast as their short little legs can take them into the nearest brushy patch. Abigale just sat there. I nudged her to encorage her to go, but she stayed. So, I picked her up, put her back in the kennel, and brought her home.
She is still really skinny, but the whole time she has been in my care, she has had a voracious appetite. Today, she didn’t touch any of her food. Normally, I feed her first thing when I get home (usually around midnight which just so happens to be the time when opossums are active). her diet has fairly consistantly included soaked dog food, fresh fruits and veggies, leafy greens, and a raw egg. Today, not only did I not feed her at the usual time, but I gave her mainly leafy greens, a few grapes, and a handful of dry dog food, and no egg (far lower in protien and calories than what I normally provide). Maybe I am spoiling her….or maybe there is something wrong.
I have to wonder if she has vision problems, because if I do not disturb her sensitive wiskers, I can nearly touch her eye. This eye in particular seems to have issues. If you look at the photo carefully, the eye looks alittle dull and cloudy. She also usually tries to keep this eye to the wall.
Opossums are pretty non-agressive, so it doesn’t suprise me that she allows me to handle her (don’t try this at home, kids! Opossums may be docile, but they still have teeth, and they like to eat dead things. That means LOTS of bacteria in their mouths!).
She also still seems to have a few fleas. I de-fleaed her again tonight, just to play it safe. I tried to give her fluids, but I am having a hard time with it tonight for some reason. I am going to try again in a bit. When I get her to the ranch tomorrow, maybe I can get someone else to look her over and confirm wether or not she is blind, or vision compromised.
Either way, she will probably end up being soft released on the ranch grounds, so she will have food available in a regular location. She still needs some time to build up her strength, but she should do fine out there when the time comes.
I just hope her not eatting anything tonight isn’t a sign that there is something more seriously wrong with her.
I cover her head with a blanket while I am doing this just to help her feel more secure and calm. Most of the time she just sits and lets me do my thing. Tonight, she actually reacted to the fluids being administered for the first time. This is a good sign. It means she is feeling much better.
After, she poked her head out of the blanket to inspect my work. Her body condition has improved dramatically over the past few days. The points of her hips and spine are far less defined than they were three days ago, and her ribs now have an almost normal pad of flesh over them. Her apetite is really good. She eats every scrap of food I put infront of her, and I have been filling the bowl.
Tonight is more soaked dog food, fresh greens, a raw egg, some grapes, and carrot pieces. I expect the bowl will be empty by morning. I am glad she is eatting so well. She needs all the nutrition she can get.
I still plan on worming her this weekend and then maybe it will be time for her to be wild again. She is almost ready!
I finally really got my hands on Abigale. I have started her on sub-q fluids. I have given her a couple of days to destress and aclimate to her surroundings before really doing anything with her. I looked her over thoroughly today. She doesn’t have any major injuries, but she is VERY thin. I can feel the points of her hips, and her spine. She has been eatting very well the past couple of days, so I am a bit suprised that she is that thin, but the way she is acting, I am not completely suprised by it. Her belly is also rather firm, indicating a heavy internal parasite load. I will be going to the ranch again this weekend, and I will see about worming her then.
I brought her inside to administer fluids. You can see the bulge on her side where I gave them to her. Sorry I could not take a picture of the process, but I didn’t have enough hands!
Tonight, dinner is soaked dog food, to ensure she is getting plenty of protien, a raw egg, blueberries, banana pieces, and a few mealworms.
There is also some liquid vitamins in the mix. Looks delicious, no? She isn’t too happy with me for the fluids, but she will thank me later. They will help her feel better. Once she is back up to a good body weight, and acting normal, I will make her wild again.
Maybe not as glamerous as rehabilitating a bobcat, but for Abigale, I made a difference; even if she won’t appreciate it 🙂