Baby Bobcat for Rehab and Release
Appx. DOB 4/9/2021
The new bobcat kitten is approximately 13 weeks old and is a boy. He had a large open wound on the top of his right front wrist and two broken toes. The wound was cleaned and closed this evening and he will be cage rested for 3-4 weeks. Then he will have a follow up exam to re x-ray. He will be starting meds tomorrow so please see the med chart (I also wrote them down for the weekend on a dry erase board in the kitchen). Please give a half meal with meds at first in AM to see how he is going to do. If he is a good eater then he can just get meds on his whole meal AM and PM. If not we will need to do a small amount, wait for him to finish that then feed the rest of the meals. Let’s start with 3 oz mush AM and PM tomorrow. If hungry we can bump up to 4 oz each meal. He is on quarantine for two weeks – only rabies vaccinated keepers can care for him. We also need to follow regular quarantine protocols; gloves when handling his things, separate laundry and cleaning tools.
Nakoa had been crouching under a plant at a nursery in Eustis, FL when a worker there, thinking he was a skinny domestic cat, tried to pet him. Nakoa ran under a shed and on the way he was observed limping. The workers dug him out, brought him inside and saw the extent of the injury, and then put him in a pet carrier while they tried to figure out what to do next. Thankfully they called Big Cat Rescue and now he will get the best rehab experience available and be released back to the wild as soon as he is big enough to fend for himself.
The next day Nick called to tell us they had found the remains of a bobcat shredded by coyotes, so Nakoa was saved just in time!
Update: July 15, 2021
Nakoa has another two weeks of cage rest to allow his broken toe bones to heal.
Hopefully we can keep entertained adequately during that time.
After that he will go into the kitten room where Byrdie was for another two weeks.
Then he will get a follow up exam with x-rays to see how his foot is healing.
Otherwise the surgery site has closed nicely and he is using the paw that was injured.
Update: July 21, 2021
Nakoa is quite the wild boy!
Update: July 29, 2021
Nakoa was moved to the rehab kitten room today!
November 3, 2021
Such an exciting day! Nakoa a young male bobcat we rescued in the beginning of July was released on 6,000+ acres! He was originally found at a commercial plant nursery with a deep wound to his paw. Dr. Justin Boorstein fixed him up and after a couple of months of rehab he was ready to go back home.
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.