As you may or may not know, Theo, our little starlet, has always had a difficult time living outside. Well, to be honest, Theo has always had a hard time! He has had so many close calls and near misses in his short life thus far, that it should come as no surprise that our little guy with such a delicate constitution would have a hard time adjusting to life outdoors.
At a certain age, it just isn’t very feasible to keep a bobcat inside. For our wildlife center, we keep our baby bobs indoors till a certain age. Just as a mother bobcat would keep her kits in their den, we keep them inside the nursery. Bobkits are quite sensitive, and need close supervision to monitor health and well-being. After they pass that certain delicate age, and they begin to grow more adventurous and rambunctious, they begin their slow transition to outdoor living, usually in preparation to becoming wild again.
Theo really is no exception, other than he would never survive release. Alas, our attempts to transition him to outdoor living were exceedingly stressful to his delicate constitution, so, he was moved back indoors for his health and safety. The one problem with this scenario is that Theo is now an energetic young bobcat, and Crosstimber’s indoor enclosures are not really suitable for longterm residency…mostly, it is our nursery, and our ICU area for our invalid residents. Neither one suits Theo any longer.
So, our director came up with the idea to create an indoor/outdoor enclosure for Theo. This would give ranch staff the ability to keep a close eye on Theo, and also provide him with the space he needs. One of our awesome staff members designed and built a wonderful enclosure for Theo.
Of course, he had a little help
And of course, in true Crosstimbers Wildlife fashion, the entire thing was built out of reclaimed lumber.
It was specially selected and designed for Theo’s comfort, and has a great view overlooking the turtle garden!
Once it was complete, it was painted a lovely shade of green, and Theo was out exploring it in no time!
That is the face of one happy bobcat!
The best part is, that great window in his enclosure serves as a causeway for him to come and go into the temperature controlled building! Soon it will have a more permanent door 🙂
August 22, 2012 | Categories: 501(c)3, bobcat rescue, Dallas Wildlife Rescue, environment, Fort Worth Wildlife Rescue, North American Bobcat, The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch, WCCR, wildlife rehabilitation | Tags: animal enclosure, animal outreach, bobcat, build, carpenter, carpentry, donation, education, education animal, Enclosure, enrichment, Health, national bobcat rescue and rehabilitation, native texas, native wildlife, nbrr, new from old, non-profit, operant conditioning, outreach, Porpoise, Raccoon, re-purpose, Recreation, recycle, reduce, reuse, socialization, Songhees First Nation, special needs animal, special needs bobcat, Texas Wildlife, texas wildlife rehabilitation, The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch, Theo, Theo van Gogh (art dealer), Vancouver, Victoria, wildlife education, wildlife habitat, wildlife rehabilitation | Leave a comment
Do you remember little Willow? That super cute baby opossum picture from the previous post? Well, she has two roomies now, and her little enclosure was getting quite cramped. So last night I moved the three little opies to a new, bigger, airier enclosure. Complete with fresh blankies, bedding, and snazzy new water bottle so they would quit tipping the bowl! What I didn’t account for was tenacious little Willow, and the three relatively large doors at the front of the cage!
Now, little Willow has always been quite tenacious…for an opossum…and there certainly has been no exception lately…while my two newbies cower in the corner piled on top of one another (safety in numbers and all that jazz), Willow is strollin every inch of her new digs…and noting every weakness in it’s defenses! From 7 this morning till now 10pm, it has been a non-stop game of hide-and-seek with her! Three times she got away, and on that third trip back to the nursery, I secured those doors down with bread ties…or so I thought. I walked through to get myself a snack, looked down at my opie nursery, and realized I was an opie short again!
Sure enough, Willow had slipped away…for the fourth time. I paid it no mind…she quickly makes her whereabouts known…opossums are not renowned for their stealth mode, you know. However, hours passed, and still no sign of my little rogue.
Opossums being predominately nocturnal, I always wait till late in the evening to feed them. Fresh food makes happy tummies! :)…and keeping a schedule is a good way to get in some behavioral conditioning! Like clockwork, I went to feed my wee wards. As I reached down to grab their bowl, the third little set of beady eyes I had been searching for all day peered up at me from the corner of the room as if to say “well, it’s about time you brought me my dinner! Where have you BEEN?!”.
I snatched her up, and tossed her back in with her friends, and THIS time, I DID secure those doors! *sigh* one up-ed by an opossum…at least one of us is giggling about the whole thing *roll eyes*
August 11, 2012 | Categories: 501(c)3, conservation, Dallas Wildlife Rescue, Fort Worth Wildlife Rescue, The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch, WCCR, wildlife rehabilitation | Tags: 501(c)3, animal diet, animal enclosure, animal nutrition, baby opossum, Business, Construction and Maintenance, dallas wildlife rehabilitation, fort worth wildlife rehabilitation, Jada Pinkett Smith, Materials and Supplies, native wildlife, non-profit, north texas wildlife rehabilitation, Opossum, opossum diet, opossum escape, rehabilitation, Shopping, socialization, Texas Wildlife, The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch, Water bottle, WCCR, Wildlife, Willow, willow opossum, Willow Smith | Leave a comment