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Injured baby bobcat rescued in KY

Injured baby bobcat rescued
Friday, July 28, 2006 9:30 PM EDT  

GARRISON — Some people find deer along the road, others find household pets or assorted road kill, but Sandy Pruitt found a living baby bobcat.

Pruitt found a sickly bobcat, along Kentucky 9 and Green Briar Road in Garrison on Thursday. Pruitt operates Sandy’s Diner, near the same location.

Pruitt said her husband came in to tell her that he saw the bobcat laying alongside the road. He feared that it was dead, or near death, explained Pruitt. Pruitt’s husband asked her to call someone, so Pruitt dialed 911.

Deputy Tom Polley of the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office answered the dispatched call. Polley said he thought he was going to a location to destroy a bobcat, but when he arrived, he realized that the young bobcat was sick. He said that he and Pruitt checked out the animal and felt for any broken bones. Polley said that he felt no broken bones, but the bobcat appeared “not too perky.”

So, Polley made a call to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and left the bobcat in Pruitt’s care until the department responded.

Polley said that he had never answered a call to help save a bobcat, also called a wildcat, before.

“Usually you can’t get close enough to them,” said Polley. “You don’t want to get ahold of a very big one,” he chuckled.

Pruitt said the bobcat was “eating good.” Pruitt thought the little bobcat might have suffered from heat exhaustion. Pruitt developed some-what of a relationship with the cat. She said that the bobcat would hiss at other people, but not at her. Pruitt knew that she could not keep the bobcat for long. She was waiting to see what the Department of Fish and Wildlife had to say.

Pruitt said Thursday was not the first day she had seen a bobcat.

“We saw one a couple days ago,” she said. Pruitt believed that a bobcat has made a den in a hollow on their property.

Laura Patton, a fur bearer biologist for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, said she had plans to call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office on Friday. She went on to say that if one should find an injured wild animal, he or she should “leave them where they are.” Patton said especially with younger animals, the mother may be nearby. Many times, the adult animal will come back for the young animal, even if it takes awhile.

However, if individuals are worried about the safety or health of the animal, he or she may contact the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Information Center by dialing 1-800-858-1549 or one can visit the Web site at http://www.fw.ky.gov. Patton advises that wild animals be taken to a trained rehabilitator in the area. The information center and the Web site will direct people to area rehabilitators. Patton said that many times, the rehabilitator will transport the animal.

Patton also said that bobcats are “pretty abundant” in Lewis and Greenup counties and their population has been increasing over the past few years. However, she said that it is a “pretty neat thing to see one,” because bobcats are “pretty shy and secretive.”

According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, bobcats live in a variety of habitats. They inhabit forests, swamps, mountains and agricultural land. Bobcats feast on rodents, rabbits and on occasional carcasses. Bobcats breed in February and March and have a two-month gestational period. Patton said that bobcats can have kittens until September.

 
Visit the link to see the most pitiful, yet adorable photo of the little one
 
http://www.maysville-online.com/articles/2006/07/28/local_news/3981bobcat.txt
 
For the cats,
 
Carole Baskin, Founder of Big Cat Rescue
12802 Easy Street
Tampa, FL 33625 MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org