November 6, 2019 Casper passed away. We took his body to the state lab and copied the Florida Wildlife Commission's vet team with the diagnostics we did and gave them access to all of the state lab reports because we all fear this is related to whatever is plaguing bobcats and Florida panthers across the state.
Casper's initial blood work says he has hookworms, spirometra and coronavirus. More blood work pending. A coronavirus is a kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat. Most coronaviruses are not dangerous. Some types of them are serious, though.
Spirometra reproduces felines, but can also cause pathology in humans if infected. As an adult, this tapeworm lives in the small intestine of its definitive host and produces eggs that pass with the animal's feces. Similar to tapeworms and roundworms, hookworms are intestinal parasites that live in the digestive system of cats. The hookworm attaches to the lining of the intestinal wall and feeds on your their blood. Its eggs are ejected into the digestive tract and pass into the environment through feces.
October 31, 2019, A call came in about a possibly injured Bobcat. Rescuers Jamier Veronica, Afton, and Karma leaped into action.
Meet our newest rescue Casper he was found along a busy highway in Land O’ Lakes. He is very thin and unstable on his rear legs. It is not clear yet if he is injured. We will set him up in the Bobcat Hospital and monitor him overnight. Justin will then determine if he will be examined tomorrow or Monday.
The rescue team arrived on the scene pretty quickly and this is what they found.
Appears to be an adult male, very thin. He ran a couple of feet before the skilled team had him netted.
He was then safely transported back to Big Cat Rescue's Bobcat Rehab Hospital.
Brittany and Afton were on hand to document Casper's arrival. Brittany streamed LIVE on Facebook.com.bigcatrescue watching the teamwork to get Casper settled in. Afton captured more close up footage for the vet to review. Brittany's video is posted below.
Casper, named by the rescue team after being found on Halloween 2019, weighed only 12 pounds. He's an older, adult male and should weigh more than twice that. Dr. Justin asked us to put him in a dark, quiet, small space and offer food and water. We need to stabilize him before sedating, if that's possible. Sedation is very dangerous in the best of circumstances, so we want him hydrated and fattened up as long as nothing appears broken. We have a Nest camera on him so we can see how he's distributing his weight. It doesn't look like his legs are broken.
The caller was wonderful and stayed with him until our rescue team arrived. He was in a parking lot next to a busy highway in Land O Lakes. She had seen him on the way in to her appointment, thinking he was a domestic cat, but when she came out later she realized he was a bobcat upon a closer look. She called Animal Control, who sent her to the Florida Wildlife Commission, who sent her to us. By the time she got ahold of Carole the bobcat had crawled under her car, so she couldn't see him. She stayed with him.
Jamie rounded up Afton, Karma and Victor and within about 30 minutes they were there and within a few more minutes they had the bobcat in their nets. Our rescue van is always loaded with nets, bobcat "go" bags, water, snacks, sheets, carriers and everything we need to make a safe capture.
Casper Bobcat Sees Vet on All Souls Day
Learn more about our wild bobcat rehab and release program at https://BigCatRescue.org/bobcat-rehab/