With a gun in one hand and a sack of bobcat kittens in the other, an Alabama hunter proudly plopped the newborns down on the counter and asked the veterinary assistant to raise them so he could eventually give them to his kids as pets. The vet tech was stunned, but quickly recomposed herself and told the hunter she would see to the welfare of the kittens, but didn't disclose that she had no intention of turning them into pets. She immediately turned to the internet for an expert in rehab and release and identified Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue. It was agreed that the kittens would go to Florida for care and eventual re-release back into the wild.
It took three days to secure the Florida import permit and time was of the essence. The only kitten formula available to the clinic was known to result in dehydration in bobcat kittens. The second more critical factor was that their eyes would be opening any day and if they were to ever to live free, it was imperative that they not bond to humans. They never make good pets, but the bonding that takes place during the nursing stage could make them fearless of people and that would get them into trouble as adults.
Big Cat Rescue put out a call to all of the Tampa animal based charities and on all of their social networks that they needed a nursing mother cat who had kittens of her own. Jack Talman of FosteringIsCool.com found a mother cat but her kittens were too old and she was going into heat so there was concern that she may not have milk nor interest for new babies.
The story, via bigcatrescue.org, continues after the jump...
Big Cat Rescuer, Merrill Kramer, called on Rick Chaboudy, CEO of Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor, FL and he said he thought he had a good candidate. Her name was Bobbi because of her half tail. She had given birth to 6 kittens of her own and then adopted two more. He found foster parents for all but two of the kittens and brought Bobbi and her brood over to see what she thought of diversifying her family.
Introductions like these can be very scary because the mother cat can be overly protective of her own kittens and fatally strike out at the new comers. President, Jamie Veronica, has had a considerable amount of experience in this area though and took every precaution to make sure it went well. However, Bobbi turned out to be a dream come true for the three little orphaned bobcats. She immediately pulled them in close to nurse and began to bathe them. The little bobcat babies were so startled that they hissed at her!
She ignored their resistance and just kept up the affection. Once they figured out that this strange smelling "bobcat" mom would nurse them, they were in love too.