DOB 1988? – 1/11/15
Arrived at Big Cat Rescue 2/4/03
A tribute to Alachua Bob the bobcat here: https://sites.google.com/site/bigcattributes/home/alachuabob-bobcat
If I had to be an animal, I would want to be a bobcat. They are fearless, adaptable, resilient and far stronger than you would expect from a 25-pound cat. They are being hunted for their pelts and sport despite their very important role in keeping the rat and vermin populations in check. They are being pushed from their homes by urban sprawl and often are killed or permanently injured when crossing busy roads to access their hunting grounds. This is when they enter my life.
A call comes in late on a Monday in 2003 from the West End Animal Hospital in Alachua County. A couple of saintly (and amazingly brave) individuals discovered an adult, male bobcat that had been hit by a car and lived to tell the tale. The cat wasn’t going to live much longer though, and had crawled in a hole to die. He was in such bad shape that the Good Samaritans were able to load him up in a dog carrier and drive him to the local vet who was known to take in wildlife. Vets who are willing to take in non-paying customers, who seem all but grateful for the care, are rare enough indeed.
X-rays showed the pelvis to be shattered with little or no hope of full recovery. Setting a broken bone is one thing, but the recovery time that a wild animal needs in order to be back at peak performance before being released can take months and very few facilities are equipped for long term care. The vet assistant called Big Cat Rescue to see if there was any chance that “Alachua Bob” could come to Tampa for recovery. She explained that the bobcat’s injuries were such that he might never be able to hunt and run due to his obvious advanced age and the extent of his fractures. If he had to live a life in captivity, she knew there was no place closer to living free than Big Cat Rescue.
As is the case with sanctuaries, all of our cages are already full of cast offs created mostly by the insanity of the pet trade. There are never enough funds to care for all of the animals that are in need. We have to turn away more than 300 big cats every year due to the lack of space and funding to properly care for them. There is nowhere else to go.
Alachua Bob got lucky and was delivered to our gates the next morning. Overnight, staff and volunteers transformed an old chicken coup into temporary living quarters with lots of places to hide and lots of soft hay. Room service delivers specially prepared meals to try and simulate the bobcat’s typical prey of rats and rabbits. He doesn’t have to drag his old and aching body for miles to reach water now because it’s just a paw’s reach away. He doesn’t have to know the agony of starving to death if he can’t catch his own food. He doesn’t have to be another victim of man’s inhumanity.
You can help Alachua Bob and others like him. You can help put an end to the surplus of large exotic cats needing sanctuary by putting a stop to people profiteering from them in the pet trade. Take action at the link at left called Cat Laws.
Stopping the overpopulation problem at it’s root enables wildlife rehab facilities such as Big Cat Rescue to devote more space and funds to native wildlife like Alachua Bob. You can also help by volunteering, sponsoring an animal here or touring the facility. Your donations will enable us to provide Alachua Bob with the more expensive, whole prey diet he requires, his continued vet care, and if he cannot be released, the construction of a 1200 square foot Cat-A-Tat full of trees and shrubs and lots of great places to hide. Donations can be mailed to 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
Update: 7/2003 Alachua Bob looked ready for release, so he was transferred to a much larger Cat-A-Tat to be sure he could climb the hills and trees in the enclosure and to be certain that he could catch his own food. Unfortunately, the vet has determined that his limp that is still keeping him from being able to run. The chicken that he was supposed to dispatch has now become his “pet”. The good news is that he loves to swim and is utilizing the pool to work his legs in a manner that we did not think likely.
Update: 12/30/2007 Alachua Bob is still doing well, but never has recovered enough to run. The chicken crowed all the time and made all of us, including Alachua Bob, crazy so we gave it away.
2014 Update: Alachua Bob has been moved into a new Cat-A-Tat where he will be close the rehab area and may be able to swap some tall tales with the rehab bobcats.
He also has a huge new cave that is 8 feet by 10 feet under a mound of earth, so it is cool in the summer and warm in the winter. This will also give him a place from which to watch us without being seen.
Tributes to Alachua Bob
Becky Gagliardo Apr 15, 2016
The only cat on the property that gave me a hard time every time I saw him, no matter how many treats I gave him. I miss you old man.
Marie Schoubert Jan 25, 2015
I finally get the courage to write to my baby boy… I know you told me you were ready this time… still, I was NOT… but that’s OK Abob, I know you are happy wherever you are and I also know you visit me at BCR every day. I KNOW!!! You will always be with me. I will love you FOREVER and we will meet again… just not yet! I love you ABob and I miss you!
Sharon Henry Jan 25, 2015
My “Uncle Bob”…miss you little buddy.
Regina Rinaldi Jan 24, 2015
Bob Bob, you lived way longer than any of us expected. You had 9 lives for sure, and I think you borrowed a few from others. We would’ve lost you long ago if not for your mommy Marie. She worked really hard with you. Run now, pain free, just free. Love you Bob Bob
He is running happy with all his pet friends 🙂
Jan 25, 2015
I know Marie
Jan 25, 2015
I never got to see him in person. But he was one of my favorites