MELBOURNE, Fla. - Two young bobcats, also known as kits, were found in a Palm Bay backyard pond on June 1 of this year. The homeowners first thought they might be otters before realizing they were young bobcats. The homeowners carefully collected the pair and brought them to Florida Wildlife Hospital (FWH) in Palm Shores for care.
Both kits were very thin and weak and one was unable to bear weight on his back legs. Brevard Zoo's veterinarian, Dr. Trevor Zachariah, DVM, offered x-ray services and expertise to diagnose a physical cause. Unfortunately, none was found. FWH staff worked with the young kit but he did not survive. "Sadly, that is the nature of wildlife rehabilitation," said FWH director Tracy Frampton. "Wild animals are often in pretty bad shape by the time they make it to us. We do our best, but we can't save them all. However, his sister is doing well."
Single bobcat kits often fail to thrive simply because they are alone, so it was imperative that FWH find their young kit a friend. To accomplish this, FWH reached out to their partners at Back to Nature (BTN) in Kissimmee and found a suitable candidate.
BTN's bobcat kit, a female of approximately the same age as FWH's kit, was confiscated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission because she was being kept illegally by a citizen. She is described by FWH staff as "friendly to people" and must develop a fear of humans to survive in the wild. The two kits will be introduced at FWH soon, pending medical treatments, where positive interaction with staff and volunteers is kept to a minimum.
"We are so excited and optimistic about this pair of Bobcat kits. If they do well, we can expect that they will be with us for another five months," said Frampton. "We take in more than 5,000 patients each year and provide professional and dedicated care on a minimal budget. These growing bobcats and all of the Hospital's other patients certainly strain FWH's available funds, so any donations are greatly appreciated and will assure our injured wildlife friends have a chance to heal and return to their natural environment."