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Sadly, it happens all the time. Wild animals are pushed from their homes and environments as humans encroach on their territory. Here in Florida, one of the most displaced animals is the bobcat, simply trying to survive. The areas they roam and hunt in are being developed for personal and commercial use. But what of the animals? Where do they go? They end up wandering the streets, literally, where they are often hit by cars. And they end up in peoples backyards. Where they are scared, hungry and possibly killed for being in the human’s territory. Just like one bobcat kitten recently found named Byrdie.

But here in Florida, there is a special place that will rehab the bobcats discovered in compromising positions. They are kept away from human as much as possible until they can be re-released back into the wild. 

So when Byrdie found herself collapsing in a backyard from exhaustion, she was luck enough to be taken to Big Cat Rescue. 

It was a peaceful Sunday for two homeowners as they sat relaxing in their backyard watching hummingbirds. That is until a young 3-month-old bobcat kitten wandered into their yard and collapsed by the flowerbeds! 

Today Carole Baskin got a call from a woman who said that yesterday, a scrawny, little bobcat kitten wandered aimlessly through her yard before flopping down, exhausted in the azalea bushes by her window. She [Kathy] kept watch all through the night and next day for a mother or siblings. But the only creatures who came for the kitten were chicken hawks. She put a bowl of water and a plate of food in a carrier for the baby, and after eating and drinking she brightened a bit.

Jamie, President at Big Cat Rescue, hopped in her car and drove the three and a half hour drive to rescue the poor baby Byrdie. 

She wasn’t mysteriously displaced by nature though; it was the most dangerous animal of all that caused her misfortune. 

Humans. Because the young bobcat kitten likely came from one place that the homeowner was well aware of. 

Kathy went on to explain that her property backs up to a five acre reserve. But that just about everything else around her Davenport home is being bulldozed currently for new housing. She fears this kitten was orphaned or left behind as the mother was scared away from the devastation.

Fortunately for Byrdie, she won’t end up like dozens of other animals lost, alone and battling vehicles on deserted roadways. She will stay at BCR where she was welcomed into the Bobcat Rehab program, successfully running for years. And although she is a bit underweight, they will help her get to a healthy weight soon enough. When she is old enough and can hunt on her own, she will be released in a legally designated area.

[Byrdie] weighed in at 2 pounds but looking at her frame she should weigh approximately 3.5 pounds. She was treated for fleas and started on a deworming protocol; eager for dinner. You can watch her at BigCatRescue.org/cams Link to Byrdie Cam https://video.nest.com/live/mdbyel2yTO

We can’t wait to follow Byrdie’s adventure until she can return to where she belongs…safe in the wild! Thank you to the homeowners for rescuing her and to BCR for what they do for big cats. Even when they’re not that “big” and need you the most! 

All photos property of Big Cat Rescue

REMEMBER: BIG CATS DON’T MAKE GOOD PETS; THEY BELONG IN THE WILD!

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