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CROW: Rescued bobcat dies from unknown causes

By CJHADDAD / cjhaddad@breezenewspapers.com - | Aug 21, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED

A juvenile bobcat rescued in Cape Coral on Aug. 15 has died.

The female was captured in Rotary Park and transported to the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife by a staff member and died due to unknown causes overnight on Aug. 16.

The bobcat’s body was submitted to the University of Georgia’s Southeastern Cooperative for Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Georgia, for a complete post-mortem exam and further diagnostic testing. Timeline for results will be determined by its current caseload. According to CROW spokesperson Brian Bohlman, results typically take weeks to return.

According to CROW, the bobcat appeared “lethargic” in Rotary Park, “with no attempts to avoid people that were nearby.”

According to CROW staff veterinarian Dr. Robin Bast, the animal was able to move normally and attempted to evade capture when rescue personnel arrived and approached it.

At first glance nothing seemed too out of the ordinary about the native cat.

“Initial assessment prior to anesthesia showed the cat was alert with normal mentation,” Bast said. “The bobcat was anesthetized so veterinarians could safely perform a complete physical exam, radiographs and blood work. Aside from being thin, no major abnormalities were noted on physical exam. In-house blood work testing and radiographs were within normal limits. The bobcat was provided supportive care including fluid therapy and injectable medications.”

Bast said the necropsy should determine any underlying health conditions of the animal.

“Although it may not apply to this particular patient, there have been bobcats and panthers noted with neurologic disease in Florida, the cause of which is still being investigated by Florida Fish and Wildlife,” Bast said. “If you observe any ill or injured bobcats or panthers, please call CROW and report it to FWC as soon as possible.”

According to the FWC, bobcat habitats are widely distributed throughout Florida in deep forest, swamps and hammock land. Thick patches of saw palmetto and dense shrub thickets are used as den and resting sites. In rural areas, bobcats can range 5 or 6 square miles and generally cover their territory in a slow careful fashion. In urban to suburban areas, the range of territory usually decreases to 1 or 2 miles.

The FWC states that bobcat mating season runs from August to March, with the peak in February and March. Bobcats usually hunt at night and are rarely seen. Though they do hunt at night, it is not uncommon to spot one during the day because they sleep just two to three hours at a time.

If you find an animal in need of help, contact CROW at 239-472-3644.

For more information about CROW, visit crowclinic.org.