Jun 27, 2014

Byington Winery bobcat rescue

By Rebecca Dmytryk

This morning, we received a call about a bobcat acting peculiar. It was crouched underneath some bushes alongside the entrance of Byington Winery off Bear Creek Road in Los Gatos. 

It would take us an hour to get there. The folks at the winery were very helpful and offered to keep an eye on it for us.

As we exited the 17 onto Mount Herman Road, I felt the adrenaline kick in. The excitement of the "hunt". The nervousness, hoping we were prepared, mentally, physically, equipment-wise. The worry... will the animal be so far gone that it needs to be euthanized, like so many,... or will this one make it?

On scene, we found the bobcat quietly resting in the shade of a hedge, facing away from us. Head low. Eyes shut. Not a good sign.

Duane approached with the open-ended hoop net. I backed him up to the side. We were on asphalt, so we made no noise as we snuck up on the cat.

In one swift move, Duane covered the cat with the net.

Startled and terrified, the cat jumped to its feet in a defensive posture - ears flat, back arched. A good sign!

Next, we had to get the cat out of the bag...

The open-ended net is excellent for securing the more dangerous mammals. It allows rescuers to contain an animal in a carrier without having to touch it. Check out the video: 

We transported the cat to the WIldlife Center of Silicon Valley - a 45 minute drive. There, Ashley Kinney, Wildlife Rehabilitation Supervisor, Dr. Chad Alves and a team of experts sedated the cat and examined it thoroughly.

The adult male bobcat had sustained some major trauma to the front of its head - possibly from striking the side of a passing car straight on. It would need surgery to repair the mandibular symphyseal fracture. It also suffered a degloving injury and laceration of its tongue and was emaciated, understandably, from not being able to hunt or eat much since being injured.

The cat was administered fluids, pain medication, and Dr. Alves cleaned and sutured the wound on its chin. 

Stay tuned for updates!

UPDATE: 6-28-14

The bobcat underwent surgery today to repair the fracture of its jaw. The surgery was generously provided Adobe Veterinary Hospital in Los Altos. Prior to surgery, the animal's blood was tested and it showed exposure to rodenticide.

UPDATE: 8-1-14 

Just over a month after being rescued, this beautiful bobcat is on its way to a full recovery, thanks to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley and Adobe Animal Hospital. Here he is posturing in his enclosure - looking very intimidating! Thank you to WCSV for the photo and update!

Photo credit Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley.


Anonymous said...

Smoothly executed rescue. Nice job! Hope the poor cat will be alright soon. Very generous of Adobe veterinary Hosp. to do the surgery.

Anonymous said...

Awesome rescue. Nice to see the video. Let's hope this guy makes it.

Anonymous said...

thanks to everyone for a job well done!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your compassion, such great work.

Unknown said...

Your effort is very much appreciated.
Rodenticide should be illegal. Too many predators rely on rodents. More habitat - less poison.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Great story, appreciate the strong effort. So nice to know good people are out there saving our wild beasts.

Nancy Laird RN said...

Has the bobcat lost any teeth?