Two Blind Bobcats Rescued
Not one, but two, blind bobcats have made their way to Big Cat Rescue this Spring.
On December 5th, Rufus, a 2 month old male bobcat kitten, was found on the side of a South Carolina road after he had been hit by a car. His jaw was broken and he was comatose. He was taken to Carolina Wildlife Care in Columbia South Carolina where he was treated for his injuries. His jaw was set and wired in place and he was tube fed once he awoke from the coma. After several weeks of recuperating, it became apparent to his care givers that something else was wrong with the five pound kitten.
His eyes seemed fine, but he would run into things and could not even find his food when it was right in front of him. Rufus was seen by eye specialists who determined the bobcat kitten had permanent brain damage as a result of the impact on his head. Although his eyes did work properly, his pupils dilate and contract, his brain does not receive the information his eyes receive and therefore he is essentially blind. This was not good news.
A blind bobcat would not be able to survive in the wild and so Carolina Wildlife Care sought a permanent home for Rufus.Big Cat Rescue answered the call and took in the now 5 month old bobcat. Rufus has been living in the onsite Cat Hospital since his arrival where he is closely monitored by staff and the veterinarian. His jaw has healed and he eats well on his own, with a little help finding his dinner plate. Because Rufus is blind it has been quite challenging for his keepers to care for him. His sense of smell is not that great, so his keepers have to put his face right next to his plate so he can find his food.
Precautions also have to be taken to make sure that nothing in his room is against the wall. Not only is he is blind he is also a bit slow to process situations, if he were to get stuck between two things that are against the wall he has no idea how to turn around and will just sit there with his nose against the wall until someone turns him around. It has been a few weeks now since Rufus’ arrival and he is getting around much better. All of the items on the floor in his room are kept in the same place so he can memorize their locations and avoid running into them. His next challenge is exploring the great out doors. His keepers take him to an outdoor enclosure for supervised playtime each day. Eventually he will remain outside full-time, but first he must learn the new area. While he does this Rescuers are nearby to assist him should he need it. Tune in on Ustream to watch Rufus in the Cat Hospital. http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bigcathospital
Just a few weeks after the arrival of Rufus, Rescuers received a call from a mine located an hour north of the sanctuary. Cemex Manager Tommie Deaner had spotted a young bobcat on the grounds that appeared emaciated as well as blind. He was able to approach the kitten; within just a foot or two and the bobcat did not seem to be able to see him. He would toss fish on the ground next to the cat who quickly gobbled up the treats. He knew that something needed to be done for this little bobcat and so he started to make some calls.
Big Cat Rescuers hit the road with humane traps, nets, blankets, and a carrier. Planning on setting traps near where the bobcat was last spotted Rescuers were surprised when they arrived to find that Tommie had captured the bobcat. Just after calling Big Cat Rescue he spotted the cat wandering near the main office. He took some food over to her and while the kitten chowed down on the free meal he slipped a large cardboard box over her and then weighed it down with some pipes.
Starving and too weak to attempt escape the kitten stayed in the box and finished her meal. Once Rescuers arrived on the scene the bobcat was transferred into a carrier and was on her way back to the sanctuary. The 6.5 pound female kitten was certainly starving and did appear to be blind. She is approximately 6-7 months old. Dr. Miller, a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, examined the kitten and determined that both her retinas were detached and had floated to the front of the eye blocking any light from entering the eye therefore making the bobcat blind. This is most likely caused by an infectious disease.
Blood was collected and sent away for testing; the results of which are still pending. Once the results are back a course of treatment will be prescribed by Dr. Miller and BCR’s primary vet Dr. Wynn. In the meantime the little girl is being kept in quarantine in the Cat Hospital. She is being fed twice a day and has gained 3 pounds since her arrival just over a week ago. Following our protocol, she will be treated as a rehab bobcat unless she is diagnosed with a condition that would make her non-suitable for release. If she recovers her eyesight fully, and has no other life threatening condition, she will be returned to the wild.
News of the rescue of these two bobcat kittens spread like wildfire across the United States appearing on Fox and NBC news programs in most major cities. We asked the public to help us choose a name for the female bobcat and received hundreds of suggestions. The most popular name by far was that of her rescuer. So in honor of her brave rescuer her name is now Tommie.
You can help fund our Bobcat Rehabilitation Program by making a donation http://www.bigcatrescue.biz/
Your support helps us to rescue and give cats like Rufus the best life possible.
For $20 you will receive the Rufus portrait and an adorable plush bobcat toy.
For $40 you will receive the Rufus portrait, plush bobcat toy, and a bobcat sponsorship kit with a Certificate of Adoption for Rufus the bobcat.
Click HERE to Rescue Rufus!
Please consider purchasing one of the above gift sets or making a contribution in any amount to help fund Rufus’ care as well as the care of more than 100 big cats that call Big Cat Rescue home. YOU alone can MAKE A DIFFERENCE in their lives, YOU are their HERO.
BCR Bobcat Rehab Program Featured in National Geographic Kids Magazine
Check out the March issue of National Geographic Kids Magazine for a two-page spread featuring Hope the bobcat. Hope was found on the side of the road in May of 2008 just a few miles from the sanctuary. The orphaned kitten was just a few weeks old.
Big Cat Rescuers enlisted the help of a domestic cat family to help rear the young bobcat. One year later Hope was set free, back into the wild where she belonged. Read her amazing tale in this inspiring issue. National Geographic Kids Magazine is available in a variety bookstores, newsstands and grocery stores.
Snow Leopard Collar Update
Big Cat Rescue sponsors a GPS tracking collar on a Snow Leopard that is being tracked by the Snow Leopard Trust Research Team. Exclusive updates from the field are only visible to paid members of Big Cat Rescue’s Snow Leopard Guardian Alliance.
These updates are usually restricted to $5,000 donors, but our relationship with the Snow Leopard Trust has made it possible for us to share these with you with a minimum $5.00 donation. Help us sponsor wild snow leopards by donating and getting access to these updates by clicking http://www.bigcatrescue.biz/
Dental Work on Geoffroy Cats to Tigers
From a 3-pound Geoffroy Cat to a 500-pound tiger, our dentists do it all. Dr. Peak has donated his services and that of his assistants for many years and we just cannot thank him enough. He has handled the bigger cats’ teeth as his equipment is more specially designed for big teeth. If you need an expert, who just happens to love animals and be an awfully nice guy, then check out http://thepetdentist.com/
During an extensive root canal on four of Andre the tiger’s canines the very worst thing that could happen, did happen. Andre the tiger died on the table.
Our primary vet, Dr. Liz Wynn, is always here to assist during dentals and it just so happened that Dr. Miller, our eye expert, was here to check on some of her patients and was in the room at that awful moment. Dr. Boorstein, who was on the property, also rushed to the scene. Dr. Wynn leaped up onto the operating table and began chest compressions while the other vets administered reversal agents to try and bring him back.
Later, after successfully reviving him, Dr. Miller said, “With that many vets in the room, nobody gets to go to the light.”
Only two of Andre’s canines were completed but temporary measures were made with his other two teeth and now that he is completely recovered we will be rescheduling the rest of his dental work with Dr. Peak very soon.
Dr. Wynn does plenty of dental work in pet practice, so when Nico the Geoffroy Cat had an abscess on her cheek she was taken to Ehrlich Animal Hospital. What made it very delicate work is the fact that Nico is the size of a domestic cat kitten and yet is 19 years old. Nico is very old for a Geoffroy Cat, so it was pretty scary to think of her being sedated, but she did amazingly well. Due to her advanced age Dr. Wynn wasn’t sure how well or quickly she would heal. But just a few days later Nico was back to her old self and was ready to go back outside to her enclosure. Nico’s abscess is healing nicely and she appears to be feeling much better.
If you would like to make a donation towards the veterinary care provided to the big cats click HERE
Sad Farewell to Two Beloved Tigers
Sometimes I write to deal with the pain. It can be cathartic to grieve through sharing some connection we’ve felt with others and so we write tributes, songs and poems while we are in a state that makes it impossible to speak the loved one’s name aloud.
Sometimes though, the heartache is just too suffocating even to find expression in the written word. This has been one of those times.
I personally believe that we are all one and all eternal and can usually cope with the loss of loved ones with that “knowing” providing comfort. Where it gets hard is in not having those one on one chats with them every day. Despite feeling their presence, there is a loss in knowing that we no longer share the same physical plane.
It’s been almost a week since Cookie and Modnic the tigers lost their battles with cancer, but there is no evidence of the throat clutching grief subsiding, so I decided to just weep it out and get this sad news posted to those outside our gates who don’t know yet. You can read more about these wonderful tigers and the tributes posted by her keepers at the links below.
What is comforting is knowing that you cared about these cats and many others that you might never meet. It soothes my soul to know that you are working right along side us to rescue big cats from awful situations and more importantly that you are helping us end the trade in them entirely. – Carole Baskin, Founder of Big Cat Rescue
Most Important Big Cat Bill Ever
Our PR person commented that dealing with animal abusers is like the kids game Whack-a-Mole. Before we can celebrate a victory of educating some fair or mall to send home a big cat breeder and exploiter, another one pops up.
Think how nice it would be if we didn’t have to call on all of you every couple of weeks to write some venue to explain to them that animal lovers do not want to see tigers bred for traveling acts and cub petting displays.
There is finally a federal bill that would virtually put an end to the abuse.
This bill called the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act HR 4122 is the most important piece of legislation to ever be introduced to protect lions, tigers and other exotic wild cats from being kept as pets and in miserable roadside zoos. Click the link to find out more and send a letter.
Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall
By the time all of you AdvoCat readers see this video it will probably have crossed the 1,000,000 viewer count! Please pass this on to your friends so that we can reach more people who want to help save the big cats.
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