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July 16, 2014

Following a successful rehabilitation program at FFAWC, a young bobcat was released back into the wild

  • The bobcat waiting to be released and feeling much better. FFAWC

  • The FFAWC staff carries the bobcat to the release spot. FFAWC

  • The bobcat letting everyone know he is ready to be released. FFWAC

  • The bobcat tentatively taking his first steps back out into the wild. FFAWC

When your backyard is a national forest, seeing—and avoiding—wild animals is a fact of life. So when a couple in San Diego County, whose home borders the Cleveland National Forest, saw a bobcat on their property they didn’t think much of it. But when they noticed he was acting strange—lingering around their chicken coop and even trying to get into their home to hunt their parakeet—they knew they should call The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center for help.

After easily trapping the weakened cat, it was clear something was very wrong. He was severely underweight, weighing less than nine pounds—half the healthy weight of an adult bobcat—and also appeared to be limping on one of his legs.

Watch his release—featured on CNN!

Once he arrived at The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center and was evaluated by our veterinarians it was determined he had an old fracture in his leg that never healed properly. Although he had full mobility in the leg, his weakened state was making the pain worse, ultimately limiting his ability to hunt. In addition, his blood work and other diagnostics showed a high-level of intestinal parasites. Our staff immediately began treatment to rid him of the parasites and to put some much needed weight on his bones.

In order to ensure the bobcat remained wild, and did not become used to human interaction, he was kept in an enclosure where he was only seen by staff once a day to feed him and clean the enclosure. After about four weeks of treatment, the cat was ready to be released back out into the wild. As he was transported to the release site, his enthusiasm to get back out into the wild was evident as he snarled and lunged at the staff through his crate.

The couple who originally found the cat were happy to have him released back onto their property, which was good news for the bobcat. Not only was he familiar with the territory, but the national forest that borders their home has lots of open land for him to roam and food for him to hunt, now that he’s back to a healthy fighting weight of 14 pounds.

The bobcat was released at the end of June, snarling right up until his crate door was opened. The couple who found him couldn’t be more grateful for the help of The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center, one of them noting as the bobcat was released, “I’m really pleased there was a place like [The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center] to take these high end predators… They’re a part of nature. We need these things.”

We couldn’t agree more.

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Article source: HSUS

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