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Bobcat kitten rescued in brush fire healing well at CROW

By Staff | Jun 5, 2015

The package of adorableness in the form of a baby bobcat, which was rescued from a brush fire just off of Daniels Parkway May 29, is rehabbing well at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on Sanibel.

The baby bobcat, which is only a few weeks old, was found by a Fort Myers television news crew during a brush fire near the Southwest Florida International Airport and brought to CROW Monday, June 1.

Since that time, the kitten has put on 100 grams of weight, resulting from a healthy appetite, which in turn, shows it is a healthy, growing bobcat.

“She added one-sixth of her body weight, so that’s a very good sign,” said CROW Hospital Director Dr. Heather Barron. “All four of her paws were burned, but two of them have already healed fully, with the other two about 80-percent healed.”

Fortunately, CROW workers were able to pair the baby bobcat up with another female orphan, which is about three weeks older and a new resident at the hospital.

The other female kitten was brought in from the Bonita Springs area and has proven to be a little more “wilder” and not as trustworthy of humans.

“That is a good thing, because we can pair the two up, which makes it an easier transition when they get released,” Dr. Barron said.

The pair will be released together, unless the mother shows up looking for her kitten, then she will be returned to mom.

“I haven’t heard that anyone has seen the mother, though,” Dr. Barron added.

Bobcat orphans are usually ready to be released back out into the wild at the age of 6 to 9 months. During the meantime, they will be prepared for the wild by being provided enrichment in learning how to hunt for their food.

“We make them work for it,” Dr. Barron said. “We don’t allow them to become the typical lazy house cat. They will be physically fit and ready for their release.”

Another concern is the kitten getting used to humans.

“We work hard on not letting them get habitual to people,” Dr. Barron said. “The other cat we paired her up with is wild and less trustworthy of humans, so that will help as they will form a bond and the other one will teach that to her.”

In other CROW news, Ozzie the bald eagle and cam star, is well on his way for a release date, which has not been decided on, yet.

Ozzie has been banded with a federal band and the last of his blood work has been done. Now, he just needs to get back into normal flying condition.

“He still has a little wing droop, so we will keep monitoring that,” Dr. Barron said. “His body weight is good and he is a peak of health. Now, we just need to increase his stamina to fly and train him back into shape.”