Thor

Thor

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Meet Thor the Bobcat

Who took a car to the face and lived to tell about it!

Update April 28, 2016

On Sunday Thor will be returned to his rightful place in the wild.  Be sure that you are a fan of ours on Facebook.com/BigCatRescue and that you have your settings to include us first in the posts you see, so that you don’t miss the LIVE broadcast of his release.  Meanwhile, you can read Thor’s miraculous story here: http://BigCatRescue.org/Thor and you can help fund bobcat rescue, rehab and release by purchasing Thor themed tees, totes, mugs, pillows, hoodies, phone cases and more here:

http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/thor-rehab-bobcat

 

Bobcat-Hit-by-car-HBC-Brandon-2016-02-05

This morning, at 1:15 AM Jamie and Carole responded to a call in Brandon about a bobcat being hit by a car. Dr Justin Boorstein came in and they did Xrays to see what could be done.

Jamie recalls the event:

I got a call at 1:15 AM and it’s a man saying that his wife has found an injured bobcat in the middle of the highway in Brandon.  Most people have no idea what a bobcat looks like, so I ask him to have his wife text me a photo.  Dang!  It’s a bobcat!  Now I’m awake.

My Bobcat is in RehabI call my mom to ask if she has a net and carrier at her house next door, so that I can save time getting to the scene, but she doesn’t.  She gets out of bed and says she’ll go with me.  As I hop into her truck she says, “Do you have a coat?”  It’s in the 50’s, which is freezing to us Floridians, and I say, “I’m in my pajamas!  No, I didn’t bring a coat!”  Turns out she’s barely dressed and forgot hers too.  Thankfully there are blankets in the truck.

The good news about early morning bobcat calls is that there is no one on the streets so we get to the sanctuary (4 miles away) in record time and exchange her pickup truck for the Tundra with a topper that we won in a Facebook contest a few years ago.  (Thank you everyone who voted for us!)  We had just released Rain and Dancer the 9 month old rehab bobcats the day before, so there are still nets and gloves in the back.  We grab a big carrier out of the Emergency Response Center and are on our way.

Meanwhile the Good Samaritan who had called in the accident is frantic because the police have shown up on the scene and told her she can’t stay in the middle of the highway.  She puts the officer in charge, in touch with me by phone and he’s saying he doesn’t think the bobcat is going to make it and maybe should be put out of his misery.  I tell him that a bobcat in shock can look quite dead, but can regain consciousness very quickly and that they have an amazing ability to heal.  I don’t want him to shoot the cat in the head, so I tell him that my husband is a veterinarian and standing by to humanely euthanize him, if that is what has to be done.  He asks how long before we will be there, and by now we are about 20 minutes away.

More calls and texts back and forth and the woman who originally called us seems sure the police sent her away so they could dispose of the cat.  We are driving as fast as we can, but it’s a long way from Citrus Park to the Brandon mall and we aren’t allowed to use flashing lights and sirens in order to save wildlife.  Maybe we need a law that would allow rehabbers the same use as ambulance drivers.

The policeman contact me again and he sounds like he’s ready to call it quits because the bobcat looks so bad.  He says that he doesn’t think the cat is going to make it, and that he’s bleeding from the nose and his eyes look bad, and even thinks he can be picked up by hand.  By now we are 5 minutes out and ask him to wait.  He agrees.

Carole recalls what happened next:

As WAZE is telling us that we are arriving at the location, I see the flashing lights of a patrol car and start to pull up behind it, but then notice there are patrol cars, lights flashing, at every corner of the huge intersection.  My first concern is which one should I pull up next to, in order to have our tools closest to the cat, but then my heart leaps with joy to realize that the agency has cordoned off the entire road to insure that no one runs over the bobcat who is crouched in the middle of the road.  I’ve never seen the police be so concerned about an injured animal before and it makes me grateful beyond belief.

In the center of all the chaos, I can see him and he looks HUGE.  He’s in pain, so he’s all puffed up, but the lights from angle, highlight a halo in his fur tips that make him seem enormous.  I wonder to myself if I brought a big enough carrier.  Jamie and the officer she had been speaking with grab the nets and I grab the carrier out of the back of the Tundra and head toward the bobcat.  As we approach Jamie asks how close the officer has been to the cat so she can assess his fight or flight distance.  The officer says he’s been right up on him, but that the cat seems to be recovering.  He suggests that perhaps, “His bell has been un-rung”  meaning that he thinks the bobcat might be coming to his senses, and may be more likely to bolt.

Artfully Jamie breaks away from the cat’s view of me with a carrier and the police man with a net coming at his face, and sneaks around behind the bobcat.  Sure enough, when we are about 10 feet out the bobcat decides that he isn’t going to be taken alive and he uses the last of what he has in him to leap to our left.  Jamie comes in like a Ninja with one downward sweep of the net over him as he leaps!

Paws Crossed For ThorIt is a righteous netting (as we call it around Big Cat Rescue) because not only is the net over the cat, but the forward movement of his leap against the netting has landed him over the outside ring of the net’s neck.  It is that configuration that allows us to lift a bobcat securely, because they can just hop right out of a net if it doesn’t fold over the edge.  My heart swelled with pride that Jamie had shown such proficiency under such pressure.  The officer showed some pretty amazing skill as he leapt right into the fray and put his net down over the top of Jamie’s.  That little bit of extra security can make the difference between keeping a bobcat in a net and having them break free.

I put the carrier in front of Jamie’s net and ask the officer to trade spots with me.  Jamie and I have moved countless cats from nets into carriers over the years and it isn’t easy.  One wrong move and the cat is free.  In cases like this, where the cats legs were not injured, he could definitely outrun us and get lost in the underbrush before we would be able to catch up.  His facial injuries would then cause him to die a long and painful death.  We couldn’t risk it.

The officer (rather expertly, I might add) put one foot behind the carrier to brace it.  Sometimes an animal goes in so fast that they are able to push the carrier away from the nets and then can turn on a dime to escape through the crack.  Jamie lined her net up to the open door and I used mine to push his tail end through the opening.  The officer or Jamie, slammed the door shut, while retrieving the netting, but it happened so fast, I’m not sure whose hands were where, but the bobcat was safely secured.

We shouted our thanks out to the officers who were guarding the intersection and gave the officer in charge our brochure to share in case they get more bobcat injury calls.  Jamie called her husband, Dr. Justin Boorstein and told him we were successful and on our way to the Windsong Memorial Hospital.  He met us there around 2:45 am.

Emergency Diagnostics at the Windsong Memorial Hospital

 

We posted a live stream to Facebook and invited our fans to watch everything LIVE on our web cam at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-windsong-memorial-cat-hospital  Since there were only three of us on site, and we were all wearing lead aprons, we were able to leave the doors open to the Xray room too.

Thor2016-02-05 03.18.37

X-rays showed that all of the damage is to his face.  His jaw is fractured both top and bottom and will require very delicate surgery and lots of cage rest.  His eye socket is crushed around his left eye and the impact and broken bones are putting pressure on his brain and his eye, which is unresponsive.  One canine was broken off, but the other three are in good shape.  His breathing sounds horrible but we think it is because of the damage to the nasal cavity and the swelling.  It looked like there could be some tearing to the trachea, but no way to tell with just X-ray.  We really need a sonogram machine.

Thor is in critical shape, but we don’t have all of the extensive bone plates, screws and drill necessary to fix his shattered jaw, so it will be later today before he can be sedated again at another hospital that is better equipped for car strike type injuries.

Thor the HBC bobcat

Since it is now 4:20 am, the vet wants to wait until tomorrow afternoon to sedate him again, as doing so too soon could kill him.

Thor the HBC bobcat

We will post updates as we get them below.

Be a part of our Big Cat Rescue Team

Your support is what makes it possible for us to rescue, rehab and release native wild cats back to their rightful place in nature.  Your donations and purchases mean life or death to these cats.

Give to Big Cat Rescue

Find out more about our bobcat rehab program at http://bigcatrescue.org/bobcat-rehab/

Update April 9, 2016

Thor Rehab Bobcat PalmThor was fed chopped meats during the time that his jaw was healing, but it’s done healing now and he isn’t wanting to kill or eat rats.  We found the beak of a bird in his cage, so we presumed that one had managed to get in and get caught by Thor, so we tried him with quail.  Ms Claws caught her quail very quickly, but it took Thor longer than we would have liked. We will be counting on our explore.org viewers, who provided these lovely photos, to let us know how his hunting goes.

He may just need more time to rebuild the muscle mass he’s lost while on cage rest for his broken shoulder blade.

Update March 30, 2016

Thor Bobcat has was seen again by Dr Justin Boorstein and Dr Tammy Miller.  She thinks his eye will be OK, even if not visual.  We have been worried that it may begin to decay, but that hasn’t happened.  When he woke up Thor was moved Out to Rehab.  He is in now visible at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release

ThorBobcatEye2016-Apr9

Update Mar 26, 2016

Dr. Miller will be taking a final look at Thor’s bad eye to determine if it should be removed before he is released so that it’s potential decay would not cause him trouble.  Of course, we are hoping she will find that the eye is healing, but that’s a long shot.  You can watch LIVE 11 am ET today at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-windsong-memorial-cat-hospital

 

Update Feb 22, 2016

 

Update Feb 12, 2016

Thor ate 17 ounces of food for breakfast.  He’s taking his meds (with a lot of insistence by Jamie) and grooming, but still doesn’t seem to have figured out the water issue.  We are still working on ideas.  Maybe pond water?

Update Feb 11, 2016

Thor ate 15 ounces of food off a plate, without having to be fed on a stick, but he’s still not drinking.  We bought him one of those $100 water fountains, and he’s figured out it is water, because he’s using it as a self flushing toilet.  Cats pee in streams and ponds so that others don’t know they are in the area.  Now we just have to figure out how to get him to drink out of it, AND elevate it so he can’t pee in it.

Update Feb 10, 2016

Jamie Relays Thor’s Rescue Story to Ops Mgr Gale

Update Feb 6, 2016 Thor Reaches Out

 

 

The Eye Drops Seem To Be Working

Thor Eye Improvement

Update Feb 6, 2016 Thor Lives!

The day after Thor’s surgery to repair his jaw I woke up and raced to my computer to see if he had survived the night on our Arlo cams.  Jamie and Gale help me monitor those live webcams, but they don’t offer a public link, like the explore.org/bigcatrescue live webcams do.

Update Feb 5, 2016 4PM

Thor the bobcat is back from the Humane Society of Tampa Bay where Dr. Justin Boorstein repaired his jaw. We are waiting on deciding if the non working eye and broken canine should be removed. We will consult with experts on both to see if either can be saved.

Thor is recovering in the West Boensch Cat Hospital on site and will soon be moved outside.

Thor’s care instructions to the Bobcat Rehab Team

Thor had surgery to repair his lower broken jaw. The break in his upper jaw was not misaligned, and so it will be left to heal on its own. This means that we need to be very careful about spooking him. We do not want him banging up his face when it is in this fragile state. He gets scared very easy, so walk slowly around him and be very quiet.

We are consulting with Dr. Miller with regards to how we can try to save his left eye. He is currently not blinking, and so we may need to try eye drops until the swelling goes down and he is able to blink. Justin and I will try this tomorrow and see how it goes.

For now he is not on any meds, we wanted to see if he would eat tonight before starting them. I will feed and clean him in the morning tomorrow. After that I will update you all on what medications he will need to be on.

We want to keep his meals small the first few days or so. He can only have soft food, so we are going to feed him a tennis ball of mush in the AM and another in the PM.

Caracal Facts

Caracal Facts

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Caracal

Common Name: Caracal
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata)
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Felinae (Caracal)
Species: caracal

Misc: The name Caracal is derived from a Turkish word “karakulak” meaning “black ear.” The Caracal was once trained for bird hunting in Iran and India. They were put into arenas containing a flock of pigeons, and wagers were made as to how many the cat would take down. This is the origination of the expression “to put a cat amongst the pigeons.” The Caracal is capable of leaping into the air and knocking down 10-12 birds at one time!

Size and Appearance: Often referred to as the desert lynx, the Caracal does not actually possess the same physical attributes of members of the lynx family, such as the characteristic ruff of hair around the face. Instead, it has a short, dense coat, usually a uniform tawny-brown to brick-red, and black (melanistic) individuals have been recorded. As the name implies, the backs of the ears are black and topped with long black tufts about 1.75 inches long. This tuft is the characteristic that Caracals do share with the members of the lynx family. It is the largest member of Africa’s small cats, and it’s most formidable. Males can weigh as much as 40 pounds, and females as much as 35. They stand between 16-20 inches at the shoulder, and are 35-39 inches long.

Habitat: Caracals live in the drier savannah and woodland regions of sub-Saharan Africa, and prefer the more scrubby, arid habitats. They will also inhabit evergreen and montane forests, but are not found in tropical rain forests.

Distribution: Central Africa, South Africa, west Africa, southwest Asia, Middle East.

Reproduction and Offspring: After a gestation of approximately 78-81 days, females produce a litter of 1-4 kittens, with 2 being the average. They begin to open their eyes on their first day of life, but it takes 6-10 days for them to completely open. They are weaned at 10 weeks, and will remain with their mothers for up to a year. They attain sexual maturity between 12-16 months. In captivity, Caracals have lived up to 19 years.

Social System and Communication: Caracals are solitary animals, and social interactions are limited to periods of mating, except for mothers with kittens. Hear our purrs, hisses, snarls, calls, and growl sounds HERE

Hunting and Diet: Caracals prey on a variety of mammals, with the most common being rodents, hares, hyraxes, and small antelope. Unlike the other small African cats, Caracals will not hesitate to kill prey larger then themselves, such as adult springbok or young Kudu. Caracals have also been reported on occasion (although this is an exception rather than a rule) to store their kills in trees, as do the leopards. These cats are mostly nocturnal, but have been spotted in daylight in protected areas.

Principal Threats: Caracals are mostly killed for livestock predation, although this only occurs in a few of its ranges it still adds up to large numbers of deaths (2219 animals in one area alone). In other areas of its range, it fights hunting for its skin and for its meat, which some bush tribes consider to be a luxury.

Status: CITES: Appendix II. IUCN: Not listed.

Felid TAG 2003 recommendation: Caracals (Caracal caracal). Caracals are managed with the assistance of an international studbook. Most recent importations are from Namibia. Ultimately, a pure subspecies can be maintained in North America. Although the TAG originally targeted the Asian race from Turkmenistan for the RCP, it became apparent that only highly inbred hybrids were present in North America. More likely, no aspect of this race is in this region, or likely to become available. The population target for the PMP is 80 individuals.

How rare is this cat ? The International Species Information Service lists 169 in zoos worldwide, with 52 being in the U.S.

Information reprinted With Permission from the IUCN Wild Cats Book

Meet the Caracals of Big Cat Rescue:

Caracals of BCR

http://bigcatrescue.org/catbio/

See Caracals Living Free

Bobcat Rehab

Bobcat Rehab

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Big Cat Rescue Rehabilitates Bobcats

for Release Back to the Wild

Watch our Rehab Bobcats LIVE on this explore.org web cam: http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release

My Bobcat is in Rehab TEE BlackSee who is in rehab now:

 

Thor http://bigcatrescue.org/thor

Ms Claws http://bigcatrescue.org/the-claws

Find out more about some of our recent bobcat rescues, rehab and their release:

Rain and Dancer http://bigcatrescue.org/release-of-rain-and-dancer-bobcats/

Phoenix and Captiva:  http://bigcatrescue.org/phoenix-rehab/ and here:  http://bigcatrescue.org/4-bobcat-kittens/

Mr Claws Video Coming Soon

Give to Big Cat Rescue

 

Donate to make this bobcat rehab work possible.

 

What Do Rehab Bobcats Do All Day?

How to Care for Rehab Bobcat

 

 

Cage rest sounds pretty peaceful for the cat, but it’s a real challenge for the caregivers.

 

See 2 playlists of some of our rehab bobcats

 

While we do bobcat rescue, rehab and release in Florida, we will not relocate bobcats as state law requires that they be released very near where they were captured. They must be released on at least 40 acres and we must get written permission from the owner of the property. They may not be released into state owned parks (strangely) but rather must be released on privately owned land with the land owner’s consent.

Big Cat Rescue has decades of experience rehabbing and releasing bobcats back to the wild where they belong. We provide huge, naturalistic enclosures where these cats can learn or perfect their hunting skills before being released back to the wild. We have trained staff who are experts at capturing an injured bobcat or hand rearing orphaned bobcats until a surrogate can be found.

We go to great lengths to keep these wild cats from imprinting on humans and monitor their care via surveillance cameras to make sure they are thriving. When they are healed, or old enough for release (about 18 months of age) we find the best habitat possible for sustaining them and set them free to live out the life that nature intended.

If you have a bobcat emergency in a state other than Florida, we can help you find a rehabber or will be a resource to wildlife rehabilitators who need help with bobcats, lynx or cougars. When you are searching for a bobcat rehabber ask the following questions:

1. Do they have experience with bobcats?

2. How big are their rehab enclosures? (Ours start at 1200 square feet and some are double that)

3. Do they feed a live diet of prey to insure that the cats will be able to hunt for themselves?

4. Do they keep people, including themselves to the extent possible, away from the bobcat so that they do not imprint on people and end up approaching humans after release?

5. Do they have a vet on staff or on call 24/7 for emergencies?

Rehabbing and releasing bobcats is much more difficult that the rehabilitation of most wildlife. These magnificent little wildcats need every opportunity to fulfill their role in nature and Big Cat Rescue is here to give them that second chance.

Donate to make this bobcat rehab work possible.

No one is allowed to trap and relocate bobcats so anyone who tells you that they will do that is probably trapping them to use as bait for training dogs.

Read more about why relocating wildcats doesn’t work:  http://bigcatrescue.org/relocating-bobcats-and-cougars/

Get the flier to share with your neighbors about Living With Bobcats http://bigcatrescue.org/000news/pdf/2009/BCR_FLBobcat_Brochure_Web.pdf

More Bobcat Rehab Success Stories

 

 

http://bigcatrescue.org/a-baby-bobcat-named-faith/

http://bigcatrescue.org/a-boatload-of-bobcats-turns-big-cat-rescue-into-modern-day-ark/

 

Hope the Bobcat

Episode 1 https://youtu.be/BcNZVF4ayDc

Episode 2 https://youtu.be/3afjaPdvJ38

Episode 3 https://youtu.be/68GjuVogId8

Episode 4 https://youtu.be/jKVDhfVtgao

Episode 5 https://youtu.be/PNPO5iCeU54

Episode 6 https://youtu.be/xtvIxx6dEe8

Episode 7 https://youtu.be/GJa-NqeJG14

Episode 8 https://youtu.be/3sbsRoAdfsU

Episode 9 https://youtu.be/ZMrki7Jy3Fk

Episode 10 https://youtu.be/Sfl_T3aF_ZA

Episode 11 https://youtu.be/noiygWDCo5o

Episode 12 https://youtu.be/CHnz3w7YQVo

Episode 13 https://youtu.be/oW7pmvv_Dmo

Episode 14 https://youtu.be/iXPjBTpZx1U

 

CatBio

CatBio

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Meet the Cats of Big Cat Rescue

or see general facts, photos and videos of all exotic cat species

Click on the wild cats’ names below to see their photos, bios and videos, or just click the Play buttons to hear their stories.

Visit Big Cat Rescue

Large Cats

the cats of Big Cat Rescue

Leopards

 

Armani   Play Exotic Cat Story

Cheetaro   Play Exotic Cat Story

Jade   Play Exotic Cat Story

Jumanji   Play Exotic Cat Story

Sabre   Play Exotic Cat Story

Sundari   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

Lions

 

Cameron   Play Exotic Cat Story

Joseph   Play Exotic Cat Story

Nikita   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

Tigers

 

Amanda has a forever sponsor   Play Exotic Cat Story

Andre  has a forever sponsor   Play Exotic Cat Story

Arthur  has a forever sponsor   Play Exotic Cat Story

Bengali   Play Exotic Cat Story

Kali   Play Exotic Cat Story

Keisha   Play Exotic Cat Story

Teisha

TJ   Play Exotic Cat Story

Zabu the White Tiger   Play Exotic Cat Story

Zeus   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

 

Smaller Cats

 

Bobcats

 

Anasazi  Play Exotic Cat Story

Andi   Play Exotic Cat Story

Angelica   Play Exotic Cat Story

Angie   Play Exotic Cat Story

Apache   Play Exotic Cat Story

Ariel   Play Exotic Cat Story

Bailey   Play Exotic Cat Story

Banshee   Play Exotic Cat Story

Breezy   Play Exotic Cat Story

Divinity   Play Exotic Cat Story

Little Dove   Play Exotic Cat Story

Little Feather   Play Exotic Cat Story

Little White Dove   Play Exotic Cat Story

Lovey   Play Exotic Cat Story

Mary Ann   Play Exotic Cat Story

Max   Play Exotic Cat Story

Moses   Play Exotic Cat Story

Pretender   Play Exotic Cat Story

Running Bear   Play Exotic Cat Story

Thurston AKA Mr Howell   Play Exotic Cat Story

Tiger Lilly   Play Exotic Cat Story

Will   Play Exotic Cat Story

Windstar   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

Canada Lynx

 

Gilligan   Play Exotic Cat Story

Skipper   Play Exotic Cat Story

Caracals

 

Rusty   Play Exotic Cat Story

Sassy   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

Cougars

 

Ares   Play Exotic Cat Story

Artemis   Play Exotic Cat Story

Aspen Echo   Play Exotic Cat Story

Mac   Play Exotic Cat Story

Mickey   Play Exotic Cat Story

Orion   Play Exotic Cat Story

Reise   Play Exotic Cat Story

Sassyfrass   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

Hybrid Cats

 

Diablo   Play Exotic Cat Story

JoJo   Play Exotic Cat Story 

King Tut   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

 

Ocelots

 

Nirvana   Play Exotic Cat Story

PurrFection   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

Servals

 

Bongo   Play Exotic Cat Story

Desiree   Play Exotic Cat Story

Doodles   Play Exotic Cat Story

Fluffy   Play Exotic Cat Story

Frosty   Play Exotic Cat Story

Ginger   Play Exotic Cat Story

Kalahari   Play Exotic Cat Story

Kricket   Play Exotic Cat Story

Nairobi   Play Exotic Cat Story

Nala   Play Exotic Cat Story

Pharaoh   Play Exotic Cat Story

Purr-sonality   Play Exotic Cat Story

Santino   Play Exotic Cat Story

Servie   Play Exotic Cat Story

Sheena   Play Exotic Cat Story

Tonga   Play Exotic Cat Story

Zimba   Play Exotic Cat Story

Zouletta   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

Siberian Lynx

 

Apollo   Play Exotic Cat Story

 

Professional Voice Talent by:

Michael Miller Voice Talent Radio WavesMichael Miller has created all of the audio files for the big cat bios on this page and for our Vox guided tour system.  He has been a true joy to work with and has a passion for protecting cats.  If you need any kind of voice over work, we highly recommend Michael, not only for his talent, but because of his integrity and his inspiring sense of gratitude.

 

Past Cats

 

CloeSnowLeopardButterflyJenniferGwynneOliver

Cats who have passed on but have forever touched our lives live in our hearts here.  Please share our cats bios with your friends.

 

Mother Foster Kittens

Mother Foster Kittens

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To Celebrate Mother’s Day,

Will You Help Us “Mother” Our Foster Kittens?

Did you know that Big Cat Rescue fosters domestic kittens until they are old enough to be adopted? In the last 3 years our interns and volunteers have mothered literally hundreds of foster kittens!

 

This includes mommy cats with babies, bottle feeder kittens without mommies, kittens under 2 lbs. (the legal weight to spay & neuter them), and feral kittens that need to be socialized. Big Cat Rescue’s amazing interns – who live on property and ADORE kittens!! – care for the kittens from the time they arrive to the time they are brought back to the Humane Society for adoption. That’s a lot of love, nurturing, care and socializing!

When the kittens are old enough to have their first vaccines and have been SNAP tested (for Feline Aids and Feline Leukemia), they can spend their days in our Kitten Cabana while the interns are working at the sanctuary. Volunteers who have taken our Kitten Playtime Class can go into the Kitten Cabana to play with and socialize them. Playing with kittens! Yippee. Friendly kittens have a much better chance of being adopted. WATCH OUR KITTENS LIVE DURING THE DAY in the Kitten Cabana at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-kitten-cabana

Big Cat Rescue provides the kittens with food, formula, litter, crates, carriers, bottles, toys, cat trees, catnip, heating pads, scales, nebulizers, intern housing, Internet for webcams and emergency care. If YOU would like to help support our Foster Kitten Program and “mother” our tiny charges, DONATE HERE

Or we can always use these supplies for our kittens: Purina Kitten Chow, plain clay litter (no clumping), wet food, soft blankets, towels, toys, beds, heating pads and kitten nursing supplies. Easy to order from our Amazon Wishlist.

SpayNPlay

SPAY AND PLAY – One more really cool thing…we put our mouth where are paws are! If you bring us an original receipt from your vet showing that you spayed or neutered a pet, or a receipt from an animal shelter showing that you adopted a spayed or neutered pet within the past year, Big Cat Rescue will give you a FREE PASS for our Day Tour. That’s a $36.00 value!  If you are the kind of person who cares enough to protect your pet or feral cats from over population and all the horrors that go with it, then you are the kind of person we want to meet!  See Day Tours for times and tell the Ticket agent you have a Free Pass to redeem.

The Claws

The Claws

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Mr. Claws Set to Go Free

Mr. Claws has done a great job of healing and preparing for life in the wild, so in the next few days he will be returned to the same county where he was found and set free.  You can help us rescue, rehab and release bobcats, like Mr. Claws with the purchase of this fun, new tee called, My Bobcat’s in Rehab.

Mr Claws Bobcat Rehab Tee

Meet Mr. and Mrs. Claws

Having been rescued from Christmas, Florida, we just couldn’t resist the timely names.  Help make their holiday wishes come true by supporting their rehab and release back to the wild.

We wish they could talk, because it would take a lot of the guesswork out of their care.  Based on the injuries and and reports by Carol Hardee, the rehabber who was the first on the scene for both kittens, here is how it probably happened.

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Watch Mrs Claws LIVE in the Bobcat Rehab area: http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release

See the video at the bottom of the page to understand why they were separated.  The webcam footage is black and white and grainy because it was captured after dark using IR cameras.

September 2015 Mrs Claws:

Only a few weeks old, and not barely 3 pounds, she was being shaken to the core.  She could barely breathe due to the crushing jaws that had snatched her from her den.  Being shaken wildly, she could barely think, much less scream out for her mother, to return and save her.  The tiny bobcat was flung into the air, and hitting the ground rolled a few feet, but before she could gather her balance to run, she was snatched up again.  She was being carried away by some monster that was having fun playing with her, like she was a toy, but she was bleeding and this “toy” wasn’t going to last long.

With every last bit of strength, and every thing she learned from being raised by one of the most fierce of all felines, she bit and clawed back.  She aimed for the eyes and the sensitive nose, since that’s all she could reach from her vantage point of being held in the mouth of this creature.  With a yelp her freedom had been secured.  She didn’t know if it would be for a moment, or for good.  She had to find her mother as soon as possible.  She was just too young to be dealing with this terror on her own.

She called and called, but she’d been carried too far away.  Her mother couldn’t find her and she was too small and too badly injured to find her way back to the nest.  But Carol Hardee, of the Wildlife Rehab Center, found her and began treating her life threatening wounds.

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The kitten doubled in size, but was reaching an age when she would need to be transferred to a rehab center that could teach her to hunt.  A mother will spend a year and a half, or more, teaching her kittens how to hunt, how to stay away from people and how to survive in a tough world.  This kitten was about ready to make that move, to a new stage of training, when Mr. Claws arrived on the scene.

November 5 2015 Mr Claws

He had found a warm spot under the hood of a car to hide until dark.  He’d gotten too far out of the woods for his own good, and now there were kids running wild in the YMCA parking lot, so he figured he would just wait it out.  The one thing his mother hadn’t taught him about being a bobcat, is that you should never go near cars, even if they are sitting still and being silent.

When the owner returned, the slam of the door almost gave him enough notice, but not quite.  The key turned in the ignition and a ton of metal gears, belts and a fan roared to life.  The fan both cut him to the bone in one leg, while snapping another leg bone in two.  He was flipped out to the pavement beneath.  As the owner of the car backed out of the parking space, he saw the young bobcat trying desperately to pull himself to safety with his front paws.

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Not knowing what to do, the auto driver called the police.  They called the Florida Wildlife Commission and between them managed to capture the broken little bobcat in a box.

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Again, the closest rehabber was Carol Hardee, of the Wildlife Rehab Center, who does her life saving work from a ranch in the woods, on Reindeer Lane in Christmas, Florida.

Due to family matters she was not able to get the bobcat X-rayed, but could see that he was not recovering properly and it really was time for the little female to start to learn to hunt.  Carol Hardee called Carole Baskin, of Big Cat Rescue to see if we could take both bobcats and finish their rehab and release.

Jamie Veronica made the 5 hour round trip, ending at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, where Mr. Claws was rushed into X-ray.  Jamie’s husband, Dr. Boorstein, had enlisted the help of Dr. Bard and tech, Jamie Gibbs, and the four of them worked on saving Mr. Claws leg for the next 4 hours.

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There was no handling this wild child, so he had to be sedated.

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The vets were able to get a good look at his face, noting a slight ulceration to the eye, and some broken and missing teeth. The gash was cleaned and sewed up.  His tail had been separated in the spinal column, but no outer damage was visible.  It could have happened in the accident, or someone may have grabbed him by the tail trying to save him.  The tail may be dead and might have to be amputated later.

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The damage to the back leg bone is obvious, but what is less obvious is that the pelvis is cracked and uneven.  This may heal or may need further surgery.  Dr. Boorstein is consulting with orthopedic specialist, Dr. Callum Hay.

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Humane Society of Tampa Bay vet tech, Jamie Gibbs, prepares Mr. Claws for surgery.

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Dr. Justin Boorstein and Dr. Bard working to save Mr. Claws leg.

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Pins in the bone to hold it together under the skin.  You can’t put a cast on a wild cat.  They will chew it or their leg off.

We can’t know for certain what happened to either of these kittens before they arrived here, but one thing we do know for certain is that we will always be here to help wild cats like them, as long as you are by our side.

We Sure Hope They Kiss and Make Up Before Valentine’s Day

More Photos of Mr and Mrs Claws

Mr. and Mrs. Claws are in our onsite West Boensch Cat Hospital temporarily.  Soon we hope to send them to a far larger outdoor space where they can begin to get ready for life in the wild.  At this writing we have 6 bobcats in rehab and desperately need to build a larger rehab area to accommodate this growing need.

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Mr Claws on the way to Big Cat Rescue

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Mrs Claws on the way to Big Cat Rescue

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