A few weeks ago, the Wildlife Sanctuary was able to do something very special: we released a bobcat back into its natural habitat. This guy came to us as a baby just as we were starting construction on the new location. Someone told us they had a bobcat for us, so we thought they meant the kind to help with construction. We were very surprised when it turned out to be an actual baby bobcat. He was in bad shape. His eyes were clouded over, and he had rocks and twigs in his feces. He was extremely malnourished and was obviously unable to care for himself. However, he did have a healthy fear of humans. Luckily, we were able to nurse him back to health at our 24 hour care facility with as little human contact as possible so that he would not become desensitized to people. His eyesight returned, and he put on quite a bit of weight once he had access to a proper diet. Eventually we started giving him food that he would eat in the wild to test his predatory instincts and hunting skills. He did wonderfully! This meant that he should be able to catch his own prey once released.
We decided to release him as soon as the weather cleared up. We did not want him to have to deal with horrible storms while he was just starting out on his own. This put his release behind schedule quite a bit due to the unseasonably late storms this year. However, once the rain disappeared and the temperature rose he was all ready to go.
With the approval of Fish and Game he was re-released into the same area in which he had been found.
This was a very exciting time for us at the Sanctuary because we believe that these animals should be able to live their lives out in their natural habitats if they are physically capable of taking care of themselves. That is why we specialize in taking in animals with physical disabilities who would not be able to care for themselves in the wild. We hope this is the first of many animals who will be able to return to their natural environment. We have also previously released a pair of red tail hawks. Our new facility is helping us to provide care for more animals than ever before, and we could not be happier about it!