Date of Birth: 1/1/2016
Date of Rescue: 9/8/2019
Philmo is a male bobcat born in 2016. He came to Big Cat Rescue in September 2019 at only 3 years old from a sanctuary called Wildlife Waystation in California that closed down. He is the youngest of the bobcats that came from that facility. He was reportedly kept in a closet as a kitten.
During the initial medical exam we give all new arrivals, his x-ray revealed that his spine has a strange deformity mid way down where it rises to a sharp point like a mountain rising out of flat land. We have no idea if this was congenital or from an injury. Fortunately it does not affect his mobility, at least so far.
Philmo is very shy and is not quick to trust. He likes getting up on his platform when no one is around and watching his neighbors.
However, with time and patience one of our keepers has earned his trust through operant conditioning. This keeper first fed him treats in the safety and cover of his den by using a long stick with food at the end. Gradually the stick was made shorter and shorter until Philmo would come all the way out and to the side of the enclosure like our other cats. Some keepers report that he seems to enjoy playing hide and seek with them, stealthily circling in the opposite direction as the keepers move.
Training the cats to respond to operant conditioning is a valuable tool utilized by keepers and staff to see and observe the cats up close on a daily basis. Philmo’s response to it indicates that over time Philmo will get used to his new surroundings.
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September 18, 2019
I had an absolute magic moment with Philmo today!! He is definitely the shyest of the four new cats but he has taken a liking to his platform and watching his neighbors when no one is around ? He bolts away every time he hears a golf cart but then slowly comes back... I have faith that he will get used to all the new sights, smells and sounds soon ?❤️ ~Brittany Mira