Meet the 2 lb Rehab Rescue Bobcat named Spirit Feather
July 20, 2016: Another 2am success story! When this little bobcat was separated from her mom, and found in the middle of the road, good samaritans turned her in at a clinic in the middle of the state. Who are you going to call at 10:30 pm when you have a bobcat in a box taped shut? Big Cat Rescue, of course.
Support Spirit Feather’s Release
One look at that defiant little face and you know you are going to have your hands full!
Despite her tiny size Spirit Feather inspires her new name with her ferocity. Feather was a tribute to our blessed Little Feather, but this little bobcat showed us that Spirit just had to be part of her new name.
Dr. Justin Boorstein, DVM and Jamie Veronica Boorstein, have their hands full while trying to do a SNAP test and give the first set of kitten shots to Spirit Feather. Even though handling her is difficult, it’s exactly what we want for her. She needs to see humans as the enemy if she is going to survive in the wild one day.
8/29/16 Spirit Feather moved outside! Watch her LIVE at http://explore.org/live-cams/player/big-cat-rescue-bobcat-rehab-and-release
Find out more about our bobcat rehab and release program here: http://bigcatrescue.org/bobcat-rehab/
Help fund bigger, better and more rehab facilities to enable us to help more bobcats get back to the wild, where they belong.
She came with ringworm, so she had to spend several weeks inside so that we don’t contaminate the ground in the rehab area. Ringworm can live for years in the soil. Her bedding is bleached daily.
Meanwhile, she’s entertaining herself.
Just as soon as one bobcat is released back into the wild it seems another is right there to take their place. At 12:30 in the morning on July 21st Big Cat Rescuers received a call from a clinic, in a small town outside of Orlando, where an orphaned bobcat kitten had been surrendered. The kitten had been found alone in the middle of the road. Rescuers arrived on the scene and transferred her from a small cardboard box into a more comfortable travel crate.
This tiny kitten was fully feral and had the spunk and spirit of full grown wild bobcat. Her arrival came at a time when we were mourning the loss of our beloved Little Feather and so she was named Spirit Feather in honor of both her fiery attitude and our recently passed friend. Weighing in at just two pounds we estimated Spirit Feather to be approximately two months old.
She was not injured in any way, however, she suffered a heavy infestation of fleas and hookworms for which she was treated. She also had a small crusted spot on her back which tested positive for ringworm. Because ringworm is highly contagious Spirit Feather must remain in the cat hospital under quarantine until she has completed her course of medication to treat the infection.
Spirit Feather has been doing very well. She is eating whole prey foods, she is very playful and energetic, and she has maintained her wild and untrusting nature. By the time you have received this issue of the Big Cat Times she will have been moved to the outdoor rehab enclosure equipped with a live streaming webcam viewable at explore.org/bigcatrescue. Tune in to watch Spirit Feather’s progress and stay tuned for updates in our next issue.
Video by Ruxandra Nicolae on Thanksgiving Day 2016 from explore.org/bigcatrescue LIVE web cam. Sorry, but it doesn’t have sound.
2016 12 16 Spirit Feather gets a rat
Thank you Cathy Sell for capturing her hunting prowess in action.
Spirit Feather’s Time in Rehab by Susann Mesna
Spirit Feather Goes Free on Jan 8, 2017
Live video of Spirit Feather’s Release
The Nature Conservancy Florida and Big Cat Rescue are partnering for the second time to release a bobcat to the Tiger Creek Preserve. The bobcat, rescued as a tiny kitten in July of 2016, will be released to the Preserve on Sunday, January 8, 2017.
The Tiger Creek Preserve is located in Polk County and has been owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy since 1972. The preserve encompasses 5,000 acres of diverse habitat including sand-hill, scrubby flatwoods, flatwoods, marsh and forested wetlands and contains two pristine black-water streams and numerous ponds. The preserve is adjacent to thousands of acres of protected lands providing for a perfect home for its new resident.
“The Nature Conservancy’s Tiger Creek Preserve is the perfect location for this young bobcat. We expect her to do very well in the healthy, maintained habitat of this protected area,” said Adam Peterson, Central Florida Fire and Land Management Specialist, The Nature Conservancy.
The tiny, two-pound bobcat kitten was found alone in the middle of a road near Orlando and scooped up by good samaritans. They took her to a nearby clinic, which then contacted Big Cat Rescue. Big Cat Rescue immediately drove to the clinic and took possession of the kitten, which the sanctuary named Spirit Feather. Thanks to the efforts of Big Cat Rescue’s bobcat rehabilitation team, Spirit Feather was treated for fleas and hookworms, taught to hunt on her own and rehabilitated to be returned to the wild.
“Spirit Feather has grown up to become a strong, feisty bobcat equipped with the skills to return to the wild where she belongs,” said Jamie Veronica, President of Big Cat Rescue. “We are very happy that she will be released on a vast, protected property and find everything she needs there to thrive.”
Bobcats are found throughout Florida. They prefer deep forests, and are also adaptable to swamps, hammock, and rural landscapes, as well as urban and suburban backyards.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.
Spirit Feather Update: Two photos taken 4 weeks and 10 days after her release.