When police in Orland Park, IL issued a search warrant of a known felon’s residence this February, little did they know the raid would uncover something not often seen!
Found within a small 6 x 6 foot office in an industrial park building, with only a few toys, a climbing tree and a litter box, was “Lynxie” a bobcat!
Weighing in around 14 pounds, the 10 month old male exotic cat was kept as a “pet” by the 41 year old criminal. Although there was no sign the animal was physically abused, no one knows what mental trauma a caged wild animal can experience.
The man was cited for possession of a wild animal without a permit, as well as numerous other charges. Littered around the location were 2 loaded firearms, rounds of ammunition, drug paraphernalia and other narcotics.
It was discovered that the bobcat had been devastatingly declawed on all 4 paws and would never be able to survive in the wild.
The Illinois Bobcat Foundation president, Jennifer Kuroda said “It’s used to humans. It was probably imprinted as kitten. A lot of wild animals, when they’re imprinted early on, they depend on humans at that point.”
Sadly, these wild creatures are sold online through illegal breeders and shady deals. Uneducated people pay thousands of dollars for bobcats, without a thought for the animals well-being. Poor Lynxie was purchased on Craig’s List and the exchange was made on the side of the highway!
Lynxie was removed from the confining conditions and cared for by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Thankfully, the presiding judge in the case and the convicted owner agreed to surrender the feline to an accredited sanctuary.
Our amazing friends at The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota stepped in to help!
Sanctuary founder Tammy Thies and caretaker Elyse Mather, made the 8 hour drive to pick up the frightened bobcat. He will now be allowed to live in a natural habitat along with over 100 other exotic cat residents.
During the drive, the ladies decided that a young feline who had endured so much deserved a strong name to match. Not to mention the confusion having a bobcat named after another species, Lynx, could cause! While journeying through Mondovi, WI inspiration struck and Lynxie was officially renamed Mondovi.
Arriving at the sanctuary, Mondovi underwent a thorough examination, blood work and was neutered. The growing boy is “very food motivated and has a huge appetite. He’s adjusting quickly and loves being outdoors playing in the snow and jumping on perches,” Thies reports.
Adult male bobcats typically weigh 20-30 pounds, stand approximately 21 inches high and can reach up to 50 inches in length!
Staff at the sanctuary share updates on Mondovi’s on their Facebook page regularly.
“As he playfully rolls and gets covered in catnip, he doesn’t have a care in the world. He approaches the shared wall to try to get next-door neighbor bobcat Luna’s attention. But she only has eyes for serval Sebastian! Soon, Mondovi will find his own special friend here. He has a lot of other bobcat and lynx friends to choose from.”
HOW DO WE SAVE MORE ANIMALS FROM THIS FATE?
We all need to be aware this problem starts with the BREEDERS! Most cases, the illegal owners are fined or arrested but rarely do the actual breeders incur any repercussions. Reputable sanctuaries like The Wildcat Sanctuary advocate for federal laws banning such practices.