Autumn was found while still of nursing age, about 6 weeks old, by a hunter. The hunter claimed a bear was after the kitten. He fired off a shot which spooked the bear and rescued the kitten. He also reported he saw the momma bobcat run off but appeared to be injured. Autumn was then taken to a rehabber local to the area she was found in Titusville FL. The rehabber cared for her for approximately two months. One day when the rehabber came to feed Autumn she noticed the little kitten was limping badly. She called Big Cat Rescue to help and we made arrangements to take over the rehabilitation of Autumn. Upon her arrival we observed poor little Autumn to be suffering from both physical and neurological impairments. She was also very thin and her grown was severely stunted. Our hearts broke for this little one as she could barely walk across the room shuffling her back feet as she went. She also had several fainting episodes where she would be scooting along and then fall over paralyzed for several seconds. The following day after her arrival Autumn was sedated for an exam. X-rays and the physical exam indicated she had a broken rear leg, curved and deformed spine, a narrowed pelvis, misshapen shoulder blades and thin malleable bones all a result of poor nutrition. Thankfully with a proper diet she has grown into a strong and agile young adult. We plan to include Autumn in our collaring research project in a collaborative effort with the FWC to study the behaviors and kitten rearing of native Florida bobcats. Once she reaches optimal weight to be collared we will sedate her for her final exam and to fit her with a radio telemetry and GPS collar then off she will go back into the wild.
Autumn Rehab Bobcat
Date of Birth: approx. July 20, 2021
Date of Rescue: November 1, 2021
Date of Release: August 20, 2022
Approximate Date of Death: October 11, 2022
Autumn arrived to Big Cat Rescue on November 1, 2021.
Today Lauren and Brittany drove to Titusville Florida to pick up an injured orphaned bobcat kitten approximately three months old. She has been under the care of another rehabber for approximately two months. The kitten was found while it was still of nursing age by a hunter who claims a bear was after the kitten. He fired off a shot which spooked the bear and rescued the kitten. He also reported he saw the momma bobcat run off but appeared to be injured. This little girl has been named Autumn. Autumn is displaying both neurological and physical impairments. We are unsure at this time what exactly is wrong with her so she will be monitored closely and started on a course of medication to help with pain and inflammation. Once she is stable enough she will be sedated for an exam. Today was a big day for her and she is quite scared. The good news is she did eat some food upon her arrival. Stay tuned for updates.
November 2, 2021
Autumn’s first vet exam: Dr. Justin came to see Autumn. She had blood work and x-rays done and it seems most of her health issues are related to poor nutrition. Her bones are very soft, her pelvis is very narrow and she has a broken back leg that is healing on its own. She also has a curved spine as well. Her blood work was sent out for analysis. She will be put on medication for pain management for now until the lab work comes back.
November 8 update:
Autumn is eating, peeing and pooping (yay)! She has finished her first course of de-wormer, will have a follow-up in 2 weeks and then a fecal test to be sure she is clear of parasites. She is on lactulose to help her poop as she has a narrowed pelvis and there is concern she will not be able to process food without it. She started playing with toys yesterday and her new room addition with an outdoor area so she can get sunlight (Vitamin D) should be done tomorrow, November 9, 2021.
November 30, 2021 Update:
Autumn was a naughty girl today. She got spooked and leapt over the plexiglass and climbed up the wire wall of her outdoor porch. Once at the top she held herself up in a corner and was unsure about getting down. Thankfully Victor and I were both there at the time and after a tense yet quiet and slow moving stand-off we were able to get her down safely using a net. (We feared if she jumped she would further injure her broken leg.) In the process of her antics she cut her paw. The wound is minor and she has been started on a course of antibiotics. We will monitor her closely over the next few days. In the meantime she will not have access to her porch until we can make some adjustments to prevent climbing
Autumn Vet Recheck 12/31/2021
Autumn was sedated for a follow up exam. Her broken leg has healed. She still has misshapened shoulder blades and a narrowed pelvis. Neither seem to affect her agility. She will be moving outside next week. We will be starting her on a whole prey diet and monitoring her closely to ensure she can pass whole foods.
January 10, 2022 update
Autumn the rehab bobcat has moved to the outdoor enclosures. She has access to both small sections of Rehab Enclosure 1. She shares a protected (mesh covered) wall with Summer. We hope the two will hit it off and be able to be friends for a while. Autumn weighed in at 8 pounds today. Summer has been sitting at right around 5.5 pounds for some time now. Hopefully the size difference will not be an issue as we would love for these two to have some bobcat companionship for a while.
February 1, 2022 Update:
Cuteness overload Summer and Autumn have been introduced
April 2, 2022 Update:
Autumn the rehab bobcat is ready for breakfast.
April 21, 2022 Update:
Follow the rest of Summer’s journey at her bio page: https://bigcatrescue.org/summer-bobcat/
June 28, 2022
Autumn moved to cage 2 of rehab today so Makani the baby rehab can be moved to the small sections of cage 1. During the move Autumn was weighed and weighed in at 10 pounds! You can watch her on her nest cams at BigCatCams.com
July 14, 2022
So nice to see Autumn at full speed. She has come so far in her rehab journey from the tiny crippled kitten she once was. Supporters like you make these success stories possible Now we just need her to pack on a few more pounds so she can be collared and released.
August 11, 2022
Today Autumn bobcat was caught, weighed, collared, tagged and micro-chipped for release back to the wild in conjunction with the FWC. She will go back to the wild very soon!
August 16, 2022
Autumn has adjusted quickly to her collar. It is very lightweight, 0.5 pounds and flexible. It does not seem to bother her at all. It is made to fall off after a year or so or will break away should she get tangled in brush. This collar will allow the FWC to track Autumn and her movements to learn more about the Florida bobcat and hopefully aide in finding out the cause of FLM that is affecting so many of the Florida bobcats and panthers.
August 20, 2022
Autumn bobcat goes back to the wild!
Today is a good day. These two beautiful babies Autumn and Orpheus are going home. They are being released at two separate locations in South Florida. They have been fitted with tracking collars so we can gain insight into their natural behaviors. This is part of an ongoing partnership with the FWC Panther Project Team. Autumn and Orpheus are the 5th and 6th collared cats we have released. Their release also marks the 49th and 50th bobcat release we have done.
August 20, 2022 ~ What a day! Two bobcats, five rehabbers, hundreds of miles travelled and thousands of acres of pristine habitat. Today we successfully released rehab bobcats Autumn and Orpheus. Orpheus was released first at a beautiful location where he can be closely monitored by the FWC Panther Project Team. After a few minutes of uncertainty he bolted from the transport crate into the palmetto thickets. He will thrive in tens of thousands acres of protected lands. Autumn was released at a second location of preservation lands that span more than 5,000 acres surrounded by the never ending Everglades. She was quick to go. As soon as the door was opened she was off! She bounded towards freedom, but then she stopped. Autumn looked at the great wide open ahead of her then looked back at us as if to say ”thank you for bringing me home” then just like that she galloped towards the forest edge disappearing into the cover. Couldn’t be more proud of my team that helps put these cats back in the wild and more appreciative of the supporters and land owners that give us the means to do such important work. Today we celebrate our 49th and 50th bobcat returning to the wild.
Autumn bobcat was Big Cat Rescue’s 50th release back to the wild!
August 22, 2022
Update from the field: As of this morning Autumn has remained in the forest along the meadow she was released in. Orpheus has moved a half a mile from his release site.
Update October 21,2022
We are so very saddened to share this news that Autumn, the rehab bobcat who was released back to the wild on August 20, 2022 has passed away. Autumn was rescued on November 1, 2021, nursed back to health by the rehab team before being sent back to the wild. She had been collared in conjunction with the FWC prior to release so they could study native Florida bobcats in the wild. According to the scene it appears as though she was attacked and killed by a Florida panther. Her body was collected and will be returning to the sanctuary. Thank you to everyone on the rehab team who helped take care of her during her time she was in the rehab program. Although a tragic ending please take comfort in knowing that the rehab team took a frail broken kitten with no chance of survival and gave her a few months of total freedom. Autumn was the 50th release back to the wild for the rehab program. Run free Autumn over rainbow bridge. Your time on earth was short but you were loved by many as we followed your journey from rescue to release back to the wild. Please keep the rehab team in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with this tragic loss. Read Autumns complete story at: BigCatRescue.org/Autumn. Read more about the rehab program at BigCatRescue.org/bobcat-rehab.
Update November 22, 2022
Tragically Autumn’s new found freedom was short lived. This came as a devastating blow. After just two months Autumn’s collar gave off a mortality signal and FWC biologists tracked her down and collected her remains. At first glance it appeared as though she had been killed by a Florida panther as there were tracks throughout the scene. Upon further examination no bite marks or scratches were found on her body. The examining vet did discover she had sustained blunt trauma to her head, but she was found nowhere near any roads and a collision with a vehicle seemed unlikely. She had no broken bones either which is typical of a car strike. Her case is still under investigation and we will share any future details as we get them, but for now we mourn the loss of this beautiful bobcat taken way too early.
Follow Orpheus bobcat’s rescue, rehab and release back to the wild at https://bigcatrescue.org/orpheus/
Wild bobcats come to Big Cat Rescue for two reasons:
Injuries such as having been hit by cars or disease, illness, birth defects.
Kittens that have been separated from their mothers or orphaned and are too young to survive in the wild.
Upon arrival, the cats receive a full exam and given whatever medical care is needed for their injuries or illness. Blood is drawn and tested for infectious diseases. They are vaccinated, dewormed, and flea treated.
Injured cats are given the time and supportive care they need to heal. They must prove they can hunt and survive before being released. Our six rehab pens are 230 feet long by 20 feet wide giving the cats 4600 square feet of natural space to learn their skills.
When possible kittens are given a domestic surrogate mother. When a surrogate is not available the kittens are bottle fed but weaned from the bottle as soon as possible. They are then raised with as little human contact as possible and given opportunities to learn to hunt.
Rehabbing and releasing bobcats is much more difficult than 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.
While we do bobcat rescue, rehab and release in Florida, we will not relocate bobcats as state law requires that they are 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/manager of the property.
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.
Support The Bobcat Rehab Program
Will YOU Help us Rehab & Release more wild bobcats?
This rehab and release program is made possible by donations from friends like you. Your donation is tax deductible.
Did You Know? Here at Big Cat Rescue, literally 100% of your donations are spent directly FOR THE CATS!!! We are able to adhere to that strict policy because the other sanctuary expenses, administrative expenses, salaries etc come out of tour fees and other sources of income. We are extremely serious about donations being used JUST FOR THE CATS!
Because of adhering to that strict policy regarding donations, and all of the other ways Big Cat Rescue is transparent in our operations, we have earned Charity Navigator‘s highest 4-star rating for “sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency” EVERY YEAR since we were first evaluated by them in 2010. CharityNavigator.org
Donate towards the rehabilitation and care of a native Florida bobcat at Big Cat Rescue. Donors who contribute $500 and up to support the bobcats will receive a beautiful ceramic tile with a color image of the most recent rehab bobcat and the donor name that will be displayed in the tour waiting area for a year and then permanently installed at the sanctuary.
If you are interested in supporting the rehab bobcats go to https://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/bobcat-rehab/products/bobcat-rehabilitation-program
Bobcat Rehab Gear
You can find shirts, tote bags, mugs, necklaces, mousepads and so many more fun items featuring Rehab Bobcats in our online gift shops. Go to reach gift shop linked below and search “Rehab bobcat.” Your PURRchases of Rehab bobcat Gear helps us provide for all the cats at Big Cat Rescue and work toward ending the abuse and exploitation of big cats.
Donating at NO COST to YOU!!
You can donate to the cats at NO COST TO YOU when you select BCR as your charity on Amazon Smile and shop Smile.Amazon.com instead of Amazon.com. It is exactly the same as regular Amazon EXCEPT when you use the Smile URL Amazon donates .5% of your purchase to BCR. It’s added up to over $396,000 for the cats!
Please visit BigCatRescue.org/amazon-smile for how to sign up and let us know you did so we can thank you.
Have you Sponsored one of the Bobcats in REHAB yet??
BRAND NEW SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITY!!!
You can now sponsor a specific Rehab Bobcat with our Downloadable Sponsorship kits and get the same benefits we offer for our permanent residents!
Your sponsorship helps us to provide these cats with large natural enclosures, a healthy diet, exceptional veterinary care, and toys and enrichment during their time in rehab. Thank you for helping us care for them!
I’ve decided to make autumn my spirit animal after watching some videos of her on YouTube and reading this page. i choose this because i love cats, and i am having similar health issues (in human form – neurological issues (we think) in particular. that way our spirits can be friends and we can get better together. also i donated 5 dollars (i would do more, but my hospital bills and i had to quit my job) to the fundraiser and i might buy a big cat rescue shirt for myself for Christmas. please keep making updates on Autumn!
I’m am so sad that Autumn was released so young and died because she was not ready to take on nature. Rehabbing at a house is not the same as the true outside world. I may not truly understand the process of rehabilitation on a young cat but she was a baby. How did you expect her to defend herself and against a Panther. RIP Sweet Beautiful Autumn.
Autumn was rehabbed at our state of the art rehab facility. She was cleared by the vet and FWC to return to the wild. Sadly the wild can be cruel. FL panthers are predators. Learn more about the rehab program at BigCatRescue.org/bobcat-rehab.
I had assumed that Autumn’s malnutrition and metabolic bone disease were due to her trying to survive in the wild after the loss of her mother. I’m saddened to learn that she was in care for two of her three months of life by a rehabber who didn’t know how feed her properly. Although she has recovered amazingly well, she still has a narrowed pelvis which may prevent her from being returned to the wild. Even if she can pass the results of eating prey, will she get into trouble or even die trying to give birth in the wild?
It’s a shame that her chances of a natural life may have been ruined by a well meaning but incompetent carer, who at least asked for help when Autumn’s condition was dire. Had she realized she was in over her head earlier, Autumn’s chances would have been so much better.
Many places have strict rules about keeping native wildlife, and rehabbers have to be trained and licensed. I’m sorry that that isn’t the case there, or maybe it just isn’t enforced. Thank you for taking in Autumn and doing your best for her with such success.
Thank you for the update on Autumn. Wondering what the usual time is that it takes them to dig/build a den and do they try to be close to a large tree that they can climb and lay of a large limb? I pray she will do well. She seemed so small and with her body structure I know it’s possible for Arthritis to set in. If it does, is it possible to recapture her and bring her back to BCR?
Wishing to see an update on Autumn. It’s been 4 days and I’m wondering if she is still sticking to the near-by trees at the place she was released. Please let us know.
I know there are a few people who have said that “when we receive a tracking report about Autumn we will let all of you know”. I just don’t understand why it would take this long to receive a report on her and on Orpheus. Are you in no hurry to hear about them? I realize you don’t do the tracking yourself but all of you there took such great care of those two while they were in your care that I would have thought you would be as eager to hear how they were doing as all of us who watched you take care of them are.
Please ~ can’t we hear something????
2 days after release there was an update posted. There has been no further update but Jamie has been out of the country for almost 2 weeks (they were released just prior to her leaving) so even if they have sent an update she has not had internet access to post an update. Typically they are posted as the FWC sends them to the sanctuary.
Thank you, Deb, for letting me know that. I had no idea that Jamie was the only one that could forward an update on Autumn from FWC.
I hope, wherever she is she is having a great time and will have a safe trip.
I put the following statement from the FWC in the wrong place a while ago.
The following really, really saddens me. I can’t imagine how horrible a person has to be to kill a Bobcat or any other wild cat for sport. If you are starving or going to starve unless you have that kind of meat to eat or you have a Bobcat pelt to sell ~ you need to be put away.
“Bobcat and otter may be trapped statewide from Dec. 1 through March 1….Bobcat and otter pelts taken to buy or sell the meat or pelts must be tagged with a…Hunters may possess 1 untanned bobcat and otter pelt without a CITES tag.”
Do you have any idea when Jamie will be back? Would really love to hear an update on Autumn.
The FWC provides updates and when Jamie gets them she shares them. There is no timeline for when the next update may be. Jamie will share it as soon as she gets it as she has in the past. We know she is being monitored by the FWC and out in the wild living her best life!
Well ~ I feel that because of my moanin’ and grownin’ about my concern over Autumn ~ and ~ speaking my mind the other day concerning the way “I” believe animals should be treated that I probably have made an enemy of all there. If so it has made me very sad. If there was ANYTHING I could do to find out more about Autumn, I would, but I guess there is nothing I can say or do. I have cried off and on for that precious Bob ~ that cat was the very first wild cat I witnessed being released to be on her own after receiving such great love and care at BCR or any other sanctuary and from this end ~ she seems to have just been forgotten by the FWC in Florida and no one can do anything about it ~ apparently. My heart goes out to Orpheus also and I heard about Malaya (think that was her name) ~ no word on Orpheus and they were to keep, I thought, a CLOSE eye on him.
I don’t think I have ever felt so badly for any other animal in all my life. (Not leaving out my love and prayers for each cat there ~ especially Gilligan and Jinx at this time)
I will continue to watch each cat and pray for their wellbeing. Also the wellbeing of each and every person who takes care of them while at BCR. God is the only one who cares about and for them after they are released.
Don’t know what the politics is there ~ but ~ you say you have to wait for FWC to send you an update on animals that have been released. Can you not ASK them for an update ??????
Rest in Peace Autumn. You will be missed.
Concerning Autumn Bobcat:
Thank you BCR for your care and love which resulted in Autumn having a chance to become healthy and go free. So sad, upset that her free life was cut short, but at least she got to enjoy it for a little bit, as well as the sweet healing times you provided her in your care. Thank you.
My heartfelt sorrow regarding the news of Autumn today! She was a feisty,sweet,courageous & determined little Bob! Where she might never have recovered,she was released,ready to venture out to be a bobcat in the wild! Sadly,another predator stopped her journey! Godspeed,sweet baby! 🌈🐾🐈⬛Condolences to the keepers & staff who took care of Autumn! I truly enjoyed watching her journey at BCR & I am saddened at her loss.
Carol how did Autimn die? Car? Hunter? Bear? FL cougar? Because of her physical issues? Neurological? How were you certain those last two disabilities wouldn’t either recur or as someone else posted cause her to “die giving birth” because of her narrow pelvis? Or was she spayed to prevent pregnancy complications given her physical issues? I don’t comprehend why with those two known fact she was a release candidate at all. Not judging or criticizing sincerely asking. I know how much you love ALL cats. Also why are male/female cats if released simultaneously and not from same litter separated vs set free at same site? I learned bobcats are solitary creatures other than coming together to mate & then separating but wouldn’t a same site release better ensure each cats survival? Thanks!
You can read Autumns up to date bio at BigCatRescue.org/Autumn. She was cleared by the vet and the FWC to return to the wild. The rehab bobcats are released on huge tracks of land. They are solitary and much research is done into where they are released to be sure there is adequate prey base/water/shelter.
Deb I read all of it prior. How did she die? I take it her collar showed she wasn’t mobile? Were you able to track collar, retrieve it & body and do a necropsy? Clearing by a vet meant current health status … what clearance does FWC provide a concurring staff vet opinion? How did vet(s) ascertain she wouldn’t die with unborn kittens with hips so severely narrowed? Or was she spayed prior to release to prevent that possibility? Thanks.
I know what you read. I am not part of the vet team. I do not know some of those answers. She will be returned to the sanctuary. Yes she was spade after determining her hips were possibly too narrow to birth kittens. Prior to release the FWC vet and our BCR vet both said she was healthy and able to be released. There are predators that live in Florida. Alligators, black bears, pythons, panthers…
Dearest Autumn, it is hard to put into words how much we are grieving. You left us too soon, but in your brief time on earth, you taught us so much. From your arrival as a frail kitten until you tasted freedom again in the wild, your BCR family lovingly cherished and cared for you. Through videos, now precious remembrances, they shared your journey with us. We were awed by your transformation into an exquisite, healthy, happy young bobcat. We admired your strength, determination, and zest for life. We delighted in the immediate bond and adventures with Summer. Your sisterly affection was contagious, and we derived great joy in watching.
Sweet Autumn, you will be missed by everyone at BCR and those of us fortunate to know you from afar. We will always love you. One day we will meet again. Your spirit has flown to the Rainbow Bridge, soaring high with the angels. Rest in peace, beautiful treasured princess. May God comfort us who are left behind, healing our hearts as we mourn your loss.