At the beginning of July, Tucson Wildlife Center took in an orphaned bobcat kitten for rehabilitation. This baby bobcat had been discovered by Vail residents in an abandoned, backyard chicken coop. The finders called TWC and were counseled to wait to see if the mother returned. The next morning, they called back to say the baby bobcat cried all night and there was still no sign of the mother. A TWC rescuer went out during the next night and played the baby bobcat’s voice over a loudspeaker, and then backed far away, and waited. After many hours with no sign of the mother returning, the baby bobcat was brought to the Center.
Last week, this spotted cutie was introduced to her new surrogate mother, Ruby, one of our sanctuary bobcats who serve as foster mothers to rescued orphaned kittens (see video).
Over ten years ago, Ruby, had been illegally taken from the wild as a kitten where people tried to raise her as a pet. In captivity, she became sick and weak, and only then was she brought to TWC for care and treatment. Unfortunately, by then, Ruby’s time in captivity had left her too habituated to humans to be released back to the wild. Now a sanctuary animal at TWC, Ruby has become a wonderful, nurturing surrogate mother to orphaned baby bobcats. In fact, Ruby has been seen taking food over to her new foster kitten to eat.
During her time with Ruby, the young bobcat is exposed to an outdoor environment full of enrichment and stimulation where she can climb and have other challenges to help prepare her for release. As soon as she is old enough to have honed her bobcat skills, she will be released into her natural habitat.
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