Have you seen me?
On July 18, 2017 a mother bobcat was struck and killed in the 33803 zip code area of Lakeland, FL. People who work in this area, sent photos of the 2 pound, orphaned baby on July 21 to us and we have searched the area and set up humane traps to try and capture the kitten.
He isn’t old enough to survive on his own and needs several months of rehab before he can be safely returned to the wild.
If you see this kitten, please snap a photo with your phone and text it to: 813 493-4564
Please do not touch the kitten! If you are bitten he will be killed and tested for rabies by the CDC.
To learn more about this baby’s story go to https://bigcatrescue.org/bobcat-kitten-rescue-attempt/
If seen, contact: Big Cat Rescue 12802 Easy St Tampa, FL 33625 Cat@BigCatRescue.org
If you live in the 33803 area, would you print out and distribute this flier please: Have You Seen Me
Big Cat Rescue Rehabilitates Bobcats
for Release Back to the Wild
Watch our Rehab Bobcats LIVE on this explore.org web cam: http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release
Nova Bobcat was set free on July 20, 2017
Find out more about some of our recent bobcat rescues, rehab and their release:
Meet Chief Spotted Eye and find out how he got that name at https://bigcatrescue.org/chief-spotted-eye/
Rain and Dancer https://bigcatrescue.org/release-of-rain-and-dancer-bobcats/
Mr and Mrs Claws https://bigcatrescue.org/the-claws
What Do Rehab Bobcats Do All Day?
How to Care for Rehab Bobcat
Cage rest sounds pretty peaceful for the cat, but it’s a real challenge for the caregivers.
See 2 playlists of some of our rehab bobcats
While we do bobcat rescue, rehab and release in Florida, we will not relocate bobcats as state law requires that they be 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.
If you have a bobcat emergency in a state other than Florida, we can help you find a rehabber or will be a resource to wildlife rehabilitators who need help with bobcats, lynx or cougars. When you are searching for a bobcat rehabber ask the following questions:
1. Do they have experience with bobcats?
2. How big are their rehab enclosures? (Ours start at 1200 square feet and some are double that)
3. Do they feed a live diet of prey to insure that the cats will be able to hunt for themselves?
4. Do they keep people, including themselves to the extent possible, away from the bobcat so that they do not imprint on people and end up approaching humans after release?
5. Do they have a vet on staff or on call 24/7 for emergencies?
Rehabbing and releasing bobcats is much more difficult that 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.
No one is allowed to trap and relocate bobcats so anyone who tells you that they will do that is probably trapping them to use as bait for training dogs.
Read more about why relocating wildcats doesn’t work: https://bigcatrescue.org/relocating-bobcats-and-cougars/
Get the flier to share with your neighbors about Living With Bobcats https://bigcatrescue.org/000news/pdf/2009/BCR_FLBobcat_Brochure_Web.pdf
More Bobcat Rehab Success Stories
2003-2016 Big Cat Rescue has had 29 cats come through the rehab program. In addition we have gone on 2 calls where we have seen the injured bobcat, but were unable to catch it.
2003 – 1
Faith – Orphaned juvenile, rehabbed til grown and released (1st attempt at rehabbing and releasing a weaning kitten)
2007 – 4
Chance – Injured & birth defects, surgery to repair hernia, rehabbed, released
Will – Brain damaged juvenile, not releasable, permanent resident
Kennedy – Brain damaged juvenile, not releasable, permanent resident, died from seizure
Ace – Emaciated adult, FIV positive, not permitted to release, permanent resident, died from FIV
2008 – 1
Hope – Orphaned nursing kitten, utilized foster domestic mom and kittens, rehabbed til grown and released (1st attempt at rehabbing and releasing a nursing kitten)
2009 – 4
Dante – Hit by car, broken jaw, rehabbed, released
Bellona – Hit by car, broken leg & tail, plate surgery at Blue Pearl, follow up knee surgery at Blue
Pearl, rehabbed released
Flash – Injured, no vet care needed, rehabbed, released
Christmas – Hit by car, injuries too severe, euthanized
2010 – 4
Skip – Hit by car, broken pelvis, surgery w/ Dr. Hay, rehabbed, pelvis healed too narrow, permanent resident, died from seizure
Midnight – Orphaned kitten, died of feline distemper
Rain – Orphaned kitten, died of feline distemper
Storm – Orphaned kitten, died of feline distemper and congenital heart disease
2012 – 2
Gator – Orphaned juvenile, rehabbed til grown and released
Copter – Orphaned juvenile, rehabbed til grown and released
2013 – 2
Khaleesi – Orphaned juvenile, rehabbed til grown and released
Fencer – Caught in fence, broken toe, rehabbed, released
2014 – 2
Cypress – Broken pelvis, FHO surgery at Blue Pearl, pelvis did not heal, euthanized
Ivan – Both front legs amputated, suspected trap, euthanized
2015 – 7
Journey – Orphaned kitten, died of feline distemper
Phoenix – Orphaned kitten, burned in brush fire, rehabbed, released
Captiva – Orphaned kitten, rehabbed, released
Rain – Orphaned kitten, rehabbed, released
Dancer – Orphaned kitten, rehabbed, released
Mr. Claws – Orphaned juvenile, broken leg, plate surgery at Humane Society, rehabbed, released
Mrs. Claws – Orphaned kitten, injury to head, stunted growth, still in rehab
2016 – 2
Poseidon – Severe parasite and mange infestation, died as a result
Thor – Broken jaw, eye socket, and shoulder blade, jaw surgery at Humane Society, rehabbed released
Hope the Bobcat
Episode 1 https://youtu.be/BcNZVF4ayDc
Episode 2 https://youtu.be/3afjaPdvJ38
Episode 3 https://youtu.be/68GjuVogId8
Episode 4 https://youtu.be/jKVDhfVtgao
Episode 5 https://youtu.be/PNPO5iCeU54
Episode 6 https://youtu.be/xtvIxx6dEe8
Episode 7 https://youtu.be/GJa-NqeJG14
Episode 8 https://youtu.be/3sbsRoAdfsU
Episode 9 https://youtu.be/ZMrki7Jy3Fk
Episode 10 https://youtu.be/Sfl_T3aF_ZA
Episode 11 https://youtu.be/noiygWDCo5o
Episode 12 https://youtu.be/CHnz3w7YQVo
Episode 13 https://youtu.be/oW7pmvv_Dmo
Episode 14 https://youtu.be/iXPjBTpZx1U
Help Expand Bobcat Rehab Capacity
$400,000 Campaign to Save Wild Bobcats
When injured and orphaned Florida bobcats come to us we hope to release them back into the wild after they recover or after we teach them to hunt. The injured mature bobcats need to be kept away from people because they are aggressive and we don’t want to stress them. The infant bobcats need to be kept away from people so they do not imprint on people or become accustomed to people. Once released if they approach people they put their lives at risk. So, we have a special bobcat rehab area that is separate from the rest of our activities.
Currently we have two rehab cages that have limited space for the rehab bobcats to fun. But, demand is growing. Last year we had 7 bobcats in rehab, which is the most we’ve had at one time, but as our reputation for successful releases grows, more cats seem to end up here, so we need to be ready for that growing demand. So, we have a plan to use the empty southeast part of our property to build a much larger facility that will have eight cages. This area is about 200 feet by 800 feet.
The pink areas are our permanent big cat residents. The green shaded area is where we are moving our bobcat rehab facilities. It will be the opposite end of our property from the new hotel that is going in on Easy Street.
Wild bobcats DO dig, so we have to have a floor. That’s why we designed a big chain link box, complete with roof and floor. It has 1 inch mesh and is 11.5 gauge to meet state standards and keep their live rats from escaping. We are putting dirt, grass and shrubs over the flooring after installation. Because this is a wide, open field, we have to install at least 30 huge oak trees that are costing about 250.00 each so there will be shade.
The 18 acre lake was dug out by the previous owner and then he was filling it in, starting w/ the green shaded area, with concrete and construction materials from demolition sites. So setting posts has been a serious construction challenge.
We own the three houses and two barns that are south of the green shaded area, so there is water, power and Internet nearby.
What we are building are 8 long, narrow runs, 20 by 230 each, that could be opened up into 4 that are 20 x 460 when there are 4 or fewer cats.
Whether a bobcat comes to us injured or orphaned, they usually go through these stages:
Here you can see the stages of care, based on the height of the roof. This is one cage, divided into three sections by guillotine doors, so the cat can be let into larger and larger spaces as they heal.
Inside the cage above:
The view below shows the inside of cage 1 and you can see cage 2 in the background to the left.
There are now four of these built and we need four more.
We are also in the process of mounting LIVE web cams so that we can make sure the cats are doing well. Our current Bobcat Rehab camera is very popular at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release and a great way to engage people in caring about wildlife, so we want to build it with a goal of it being a good virtual visual experience.
We are so grateful to those who donated funds and matching grants to pay for the first $200,000 of construction. This has funded most of the construction to complete the first 4 cages. We plan to use these four cages for a while, to make sure the design is exactly perfect for our needs, before building the last four.
We are fundraising now for the last four, and for the trees, shrubs, webcams and irrigation system.
You can help save wild bobcats by donating here: BigCatRescue.org/rehabfund