Dec 17, 2011

Injured bobcat

Yesterday afternoon, WildRescue received a call from the Santa Cruz Animal Control. They had a bobcat that needed help. It was found by the side of the road, unconscious, but was now coming around - inside a pet carrier, thankfully!

We made calls to nearby rehabilitators, but received no response. We then called our colleagues at Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley, in San Jose, and they were more than willing to receive the injured feline.

The next task was to find someone to make the 40-mile journey, and quickly. Sammarye, one of our long-time volunteers, was up for the drive. Here's her account:

When I arrived at the shelter, the animal was in a small covered crate. As I carried it to my car it was totally quiet and I felt no movement. When I put the crate on the ground to open my car door, I lifted the edge of the cover to see if it was still alive. It weakly lifted its head and two beautiful golden eyes briefly met mine. I felt like I had looked into its soul.

I drove over the hill toward San Jose, hoping the bobcat would hang on to life. When I arrived at WCSV, there was one technician who had waited after closing for me to get there. 

While she prepared for the exam, I lifted the nearly lifeless bobcat out of the crate and put it on the table. I was horrified to see how emaciated and dehydrated the poor thing was. Just fur and bones, but so beautiful, so perfect just as Nature made it. I imagined it running wild and free, but it lay limply, breathing very shallow, not moving at all.

With long heavy gloves on my hands, I held it on the table, staying alert in case it had a burst of adrenalin-driven energy. We placed an IV to hydrate it, then Traci performed an examination. There were no signs of it being hit by a car, or being shot or attacked by another animal.

I held onto it as the fluids dripped in. In about ten minutes, it began breathing more normally and it started moving a bit. We placed it in a warm bed with lots of padding. 

Bobcat after initial treatment at WCSV in San Jose.
When I left, it was sitting up, but with its head hanging down. It did not look good. I wondered if it would make it through the night. 

I also wondered, since there was no sign of trauma, was it diseased or could it have been poisoned? Animals that eat mice and rats that have been poisoned can also become ill and die. - Sammarey Lewis


MANY MANY THANKS to the kind people who found and reported the bobcat - and THANK YOU Santa Cruz Animal Control for contacting WildRescue. A HUGE THANK YOU to Sammarye for her quick response, and of course, THANK YOU!!!!, Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley for your expert care of this poor creature.