In some ways you are lucky that you don't get these calls at 3am, but in other ways I think you miss out on the excitement, so I want to share with you what we are working on.
April 21, 2010: I just got off the phone with a woman who runs a clinic in AL. A hunter came in 4 days ago with a rifle in one hand and bag of bobcat kittens in the other. He asked the receptionist to bottle raise the kittens so he could give them as pets to his kids. The baby bobcats still had their umbilical cords attached and their eyes had not opened yet. Certain he had killed their mom, the young woman took the kittens and told him she would do that for him. She then began searching the Internet for someone to come rescue the babies. Big Cat Rescue was her choice.
Jamie and I provided her with detailed information on how to keep them alive until we can get the import permits processed. (update: the FWC import paperwork was faxed to them 4/21 at 3:30 pm. They have it and we are just waiting for them to sign it.) The woman is willing to help us persuade Alabama's Fish & Game Department to let us release the bobcats once they are old enough to hunt on their own. She said there are no rehabbers in AL who have the kind of expertise we have and the city she is in is just over the FL border, so hopefully these youngsters won't be teased for their accents when released back home.
The other call came into the gift shop. (a good reason to be the person answering the phone) A woman in Hudson has had a bobcat as a pet for the past 14 years and now is in foreclosure and cannot take Angelica with her when the bank repossesses her home. She broke down crying at the thought of losing her long time pet, but said if she knew then, what she knows now about exotic cats, she would never have bought her. She said she is willing to sign our contract that she will never own another big cats. She had actually visited us 10 years ago and said that when she ran out of options for keeping her cat with her she knew that Angelica would have the good life here and never have to worry about eviction.
She's right and it is all because of you!
We need a mother cat who is nursing kittens if anyone knows of one who might be a good candidate as a surrogate. The Hope playlist is here to see 14 episodes of her being adopted by a nursing mother and her ultimate release: http://www.youtube.com/my_playlists?p=34BDCD1C9909D19A
Jamie had to stop in Chiefland for the night, but will be in later this evening with the three orphaned bobcat kittens. She says they have diarrhea and one sounds rattle-ly which usually comes from the kittens not being fed often enough. If they aren't fed every couple of hours they get so hungry they inhale the milk into their lungs and that can result in pneumonia. Dr. Wynn has been alerted that they will be arriving later in the evening today.
Since we want to give these little guys every change to live free we won't be able to have them handled. We will set up the Cat Hospital in such a way that you can see them through the glass doors or via camera once they are stabilized.
Jamie will be posting photos and 12 second video clips of the baby bobcats as they progress here: http://twitter.com/BigCatRescue See the most recent ones now.
The Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor answered the call we had put out to the world for a nursing mother cat by bringing us Bobbi. She was named Bobbi because of her bob-tail was given to the shelter when she was very pregnant. On April 1st, she gave birth to six kittens. When someone found two abandoned kittens they dropped them off to the shelter. Bobbi gladly accepted the new additions as if they were her own. Rick Chaboudy, the cofounder of Suncoast Animal League just knew she would be the purr-fect surrogate mom to the orphaned bobcats. He found fosters for six of her babies and brought her and two of the cutest kittens you ever saw to Big Cat Rescue.
Introductions like these can be very scary because the mother cat can be overly protective of her own kittens and fatally strike out at the new comers. President, Jamie Veronica, has had a considerable amount of experience in this area though and had taken every precaution to make sure it went as well as it possibly could. Bobbi turned out to be a dream come true for three little orphaned bobcats though. She immediately pulled them in close to nurse and began to bathe them. The little bobcat babies were so startled that they hissed at her!
She ignored their resistance and just kept on loving on them. Once they figured out that this strange smelling "bobcat" mom had the real deal to offer at her breasts, they were in love too.
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue an Educational Sanctuary home to more than 100 big cats 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625 813.493.4564 fax 885.4457 Carole.Baskin@BigCatRescue.org http://www.BigCatRescue.org
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