‘One-way’ bobcat trapped at airport
By Tribune Staff – November 6, 2008
One of the “one-way animals” at the Montana Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a bobcat that was trapped at the airport in Great Falls last August. One-way means it will not be returned to the wild.
The bobcat was declawed and eventually released. It survived but was beginning to beg for food from humans. The adult feline is about two years old.
“Eventually our wardens trapped it at the airport,” said Patty Sowka, manager of the wildlife rehabilitation center. “It was living in the area for almost a year. It is amazing that it survived. It did have a respiratory infection but we put it on antibiotics and we feed it deer legs and chicken pieces. It ate a garter snake that crawled through its cage.”
When Warden Joe Kambic of Great Falls baited a life trap with cat food, the bobcat came right in. That was on Aug. 18.
Sowka said she believes the bobcat is a male, although it is hard to tell without drugging it. The cat’s teeth are fully in tact. She thinks the cat may become an ambassador animal for the center.
“It actually has bonded with me and allows me to touch it and I can get it to move,” Sowka said, “We can take it for walks within fully enclosed area and play with toys with it. We do a little behavioral enrichment to stimulate it and keep it happy.
The cat weighs between 25 and 30 pounds.
Montana law requires a cat be either microchipped or tattooed before it can be kept. The owner also must have state and federal permits.
Sowka says she is unsure of any of those issues: “If I ever have to sedate the animal, I will get all my questions answered at that point.”
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org