Saturday, July 08, 2006

Big Cat Rescue Rehabs Bobcats for Release

If I had to be an animal, I would want to be a bobcat. They are fearless, adaptable, resilient and far stronger than you would expect from a 25-pound cat. They are being hunted for their pelts and sport despite their very important role in keeping the rat and vermin populations in check. They are being pushed from their homes by urban sprawl and often are killed or permanently injured when crossing busy roads to access their hunting grounds. This is when they enter my life.

A call comes in late on Monday from the West End Animal Hospital in Alachua County. A couple of saintly (and amazingly brave) individuals discovered an adult, male bobcat that had been hit by a car and lived to tell the tale. The cat wasn?t going to live much longer though, and had crawled in a hole to die. He was in such bad shape that the Good Samaritans were able to load him up in a dog carrier and drive him to the local vet who was known to take in wildlife. Vets who are willing to take in non-paying customers, who seem all but grateful for the care, are rare enough indeed.