Nature Notes (#196)~The Bobcat My Sister Rescued is Released….

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Nature Lovers all over the world participated in Nature Notes last week..Thank you all so much!!

nature notes collage

1.Hanne Bente Min fotoblog ” Photo Safari” Denmark
2.Tina ” GÃ NSEBLÃ MCHEN- Daisy”- Germany
3.Kerri-A Little Piece of Me ” Rewarded By Nature”
4.Carver ” Nature Notes Crazy Quilt” USA
5.Andrea ” Sea Cucumber” Philippines
6.Rebecca~ the garden- roof coop ” Wreath Bird Feeder”
7.Maboe “I skogen-In The Woods” Sweden
8.Laura Hegfield ” Single Garment” USA
9.craftygreenpoet ” Winter Wonderland – Water of Leith”
10.Tina´s Pic Story ” back light- gegenlicht” Germany
11.Freda Day One ” Nature Notes So Cold” Canada
12.Kusum ” Cormorant Expressions” Taken in CA
13.Pat “In the Thicket- Cardinal” USA
14.Leora ” Butterfly Three Photos” USA
15.Gail ” Gifts of an avian nature” USA
16.Withywindle Blog ” Windows on Wildlife” USA
17.Sallie (Full Time- Life) ” IT’S ALL ABOUT WHERE TO FIND DINNER”
18.Eileen ” Crested Caracara ” USA
19.bettyl- strange lava beach at Castlepoint New Zealand
20.EG Camera Girl ” January in Ontario” Canada
21.Indrani Wordless Inviting Caption India
22.Shiju Sugunan ” Ashy Prinia Bird” India
23.Andrea, ” Sad Goats” Philippines
24.Sleepshort ” Egrets from a Distance”
25.Karen, Pixel Posts ” What’s That?!” Canada
26.Dancing Aspens Farm ” Chickadee” USA
27.A Student Gardener ” FIRST THING’S FIRST” Canada
28.Amit Agarwal ” Both ends.! Sunrise at Port Blair” India
29.Nature Rambles ” Chandubi Lake ” India
30.Donna@ Gardens Eye View ” Wildflower Tales- Virginia Bluebell”
31.Guild- rez “On a very cold day -18C… tree in winter” Canada
32.Northern Cardinal and a Suet Feeder Recipe US
33.Jill ” Pine Warbler Friends” USA
34.Jeff Ecobirder ” Eastern Pine Elfin” USA
35.Deserts and Beyond ” Desert fence and palm”, CA USA
36.Sian Beetlebirdhare ” Seven Days of Snow”

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I wanted to do something else this week and highlight people that I really admire and those are wildlife rehabilitators who spend time and money helping return injured wildlife to the wild. This one has a personal connection as my sister Lisa who is a veterinarian saw a young bobcat get hit by a truck and rescued it. The bobcat ended up at the Wildlife Center of Virgina and here are the notes they kept on it.

On November 24, a veterinarian was horseback riding in Powhatan County, Virginia and came across an injured juvenile bobcat.   It was transferred to the Wildlife Center.

bobcat in back of my sister's truck

bobcat in back of my sister’s truck

My sister and her friend who is also a vet had an adventure catching the injured cat and if it has not been in shock, it would have torn them to shreds. Lisa could see that the leg was badly injured.

Upon admission, Dr. Dana anesthetized the young male bobcat so that she could safely perform a physical exam and take a set of radiographs.  She found that the cat’s right femur was badly fractured – in a tricky spot.  The femur was in multiple fragments, and the fracture had occurred near the knee-joint. Because the fracture was so close to the bobcat’s joint, the Wildlife Center vets were unsure about performing a surgical repair on the cat.  Because this is not a “clean” break, and the fracture is so close to the joint, any hardware used to repair the fracture could prevent proper growth of the bone.  This could later cause an asymmetry of the leg which would result in problems with walking, running, and hunting.

Dr. Dave consulted with several orthopedic  specialists boarded with the American College of  Veterinary Surgeons to get second [and third and fourth] opinions on a possible surgical repair for the bobcat.  Dr. Jason Wheeler with the Virginia Veterinary Specialists in Charlottesville thought that repair was possible.  Dr. Wheeler scheduled the surgery on Thursday, November 29.  The Wildlife Center will pay for the bobcat’s surgery, though Dr. Wheeler’s practice will be giving the Center a discount.  The surgery will roughly cost $2,000.

radiograph showing badly broken leg

radiograph showing badly broken leg

The wildlife Center spent a lot of time and money to allow this bobcat a chance to return to the wild….

bobcat

Dr. Stiffler will use a special cerclage wire and internal pins to secure the bone fragments in place.  This hardware will remain in the bobcat’s leg – which should not be an issue for a non-game wild mammal species. 

bobcat

bobcat

December 11, 2012

Since his surgery, the Bobcat has remained bright, alert, and notably feisty with a healthy appetite. Though he is still in a small cage, which limits his movement, the veterinarians have noticed him ambulating – walking – well and placing weight on his right-hind leg.

January 10, 2013

Bobcat #12-2591 has been doing well in one of the Center’s flight pens.  The bobcat’s leg injury does not seem to be slowing the feline at all – the cat is running, jumping, and climbing with ease.  The rehabilitation staff began offering the bobcat live mice to provide plenty of practice hunting for food in anticipation of its release.

January 25, 2013

Bobcat #12-2591 was caught and anesthetized on January 24 for a set of follow-up radiographs.  The rehabilitation staff set a live trap in the bobcat’s enclosure – a much less stressful way to catch the bobcat rather than having to net or dart the animal!

Dr. Dana was pleased with the bobcat’s radiographs.  She also noted that the cat had good range of motion of its injured leg, and no “crepitus”, or crackling sounds of the joint.  Dr. Dana consulted with Dr. Jason Wheeler, the veterinarian who pinned the bobcat’s fractured leg in November 2012.  They decided that all was in order, and the bobcat was cleared for release.

The staff of the Wildlife Center will be coordinating with the bobcat’s rescuers to arrange a release back in the area where it was found.

bobcat at release site

bobcat at release site

My sister and her friend were able to be there when the bobcat was released back into the wilds of Virginia. Here is some information on bobcats from National Geographic

Bobcats, named for their "bobbed" tails, have ears that resemble their feline cousin, the lynx.Photograph by Norbert Rosing

Bobcats, named for their “bobbed” tails, have ears that resemble their feline cousin, the lynx.
Photograph by Norbert Rosing

Bobcats are elusive and nocturnal, so they are rarely spotted by humans. Although they are seldom seen, they roam throughout much of North America and adapt well to such diverse habitats as forests, swamps, deserts, and even suburban areas.

bobcat range in North America

bobcat range in North America

Fierce hunters, bobcats can kill prey much bigger than themselves, but usually eat rabbits, birds, mice, squirrels, and other smaller game. The bobcat hunts by stealth, but delivers a deathblow with a leaping pounce that can cover 10 feet (3 meters).

Bobcats are solitary animals. Females choose a secluded den to raise a litter of one to six young kittens, which will remain with their mother for 9 to 12 months. During this time they will learn to hunt before setting out on their own.

signs of season

To locate a wildlife rehabber

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Directory

Wildlife rehabilitators and rescue groups searchable by zip code, animals and permits

What are you seeing in nature? It can be from your own backyard, the local park, out on a hike or anywhere. What plants and animals catch your interest? What do you find interesting in nature? Take a photo, write a post, a story, a poem, anything goes because I love to see what Mother Nature is up to in your area. PS..please check back and visit bloggers who post later in the week!

31 thoughts on “Nature Notes (#196)~The Bobcat My Sister Rescued is Released….

  1. Oh, WOW! The pictures are amazing, and what a great story! Thanks so much for sharing your sister’s adventure with this beautiful creature! I hope someday to be able to say I encountered a bobcat in the wild… (safely, of course!)

  2. What a beautiful animal and thanks to the generosity of so many dedicated souls, he will be able to return to his natural surroundings fully rehabbed. I have so much respect for vets after working at an animal ER for 7 years. They truly are devoted and not in the profession for the money. Very admirable.

  3. I LOVED this true story Michelle! Thank you for sharing it. Your sister and her coworkers do wonderful work. The bobcat is beautiful. We caught a glimpse of one years and years ago when camping in the Northwest — I’ve never forgotten it.

  4. Love this post, Michelle! I just found out there’s a lady down the street, about a mile, who does wildlife rehab stuff. I’m going to try to find out some more info and maybe see if I can at least help out sometimes. I’ve always wanted to do it!

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  6. He’s a handsome cat. Glad he has gotten so much attention. I’ve been paying a little attention to “my” birds – cardinals, sparrows and maybe a titmouse? have been eating in my feeder. And every now and then, I see a hawk flying in the sky in our neighborhood. That’s my Nature Note for this week … take care, Michelle.

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