Kamau, the bobcat, earned his name, meaning “quiet warrior,” after rescuers raced to the side of a six-lane highway in Florida to save him.
Someone had shot Kamau hitting his paw, and then he was likely hit by a car, injuring his wrist and knee. Without immediate help, he wouldn’t have survived much longer. But he proved remarkably strong and surprised everyone, making a full recovery at Big Cat Rescue. They were thrilled to share his triumphant return to the wild, the best outcome of all.
A Good Samaritan Spotted Kamau and Called for Help
Who do you call to help when you spot an injured bobcat? Well, in Florida, they’re lucky to have help from Big Cat Rescue. So when a cyclist returned from the gym and saw a bobcat hadn’t moved from the same place by the roadside, he called them. The cat was motionless and breathing hard beside a neighborhood fence but the highway was on the other side.
After taking the call, the rescuers rushed to the scene, even on their day off, to help the critically injured bobcat. It was an “adrenaline-fueled wildlife rescue” as they cautiously prepared to save the majestic creature.
When they arrive, Kamau was dazed and walking slowly beside the fence. There was nowhere to go, as traffic whizzed by at high speed. Slowly, Jamie and Victor moved in carrying big nets, nervous but determined.
Miraculously, they were able to catch the bobcat with relative ease in their nets. But then, they had to maneuver the bobcat into a crate. This part was no easy feat as Kamau did his best to get free even in his weakened state.
Safely in the van with the bobcat, the experienced rescuers’ hands were still shaking from the adrenaline rush.
Video via Instagram/bigcatrescue
You can see more in the video of the rescue by Big Cat Rescue:
Kamau Recovers and Gets ‘Feistier By the Day’
Given ongoing veterinary care and a quiet sanctuary, the bobcat slowly made a full recovery. The team removed a big piece of bullet shrapnel from Kamau’s rear paw, removed a broken canine tooth, and gave him time to heal with antibiotics, steroids, and pain medications. He was in truly bad shape.
Considering how weak he was when they captured him, he lived up to his quiet warrior name. After surgery, a few weeks of rehabilitation outdoors was all he needed before he was determined to go home!
“Kamau has been doing really well. He has gotten feistier by the day. When he first arrived, he was a shell of a bobcat. He is now full-on bobcat and ready to go home,” the rescue shared.
A Triumphant Return to the Wild
Despite his serious injuries, Kamau was strong again and only wanted to be wild and free. His rescuers, Jamie and Victor, were there with volunteers to witness the release, and everyone was excited to see him back in the wild where he belongs.
But first, they had to capture Kamau in his sanctuary enclosure so he could be transported home. These cats are incredibly strong and agile, and Kamau was much stronger than when they first encountered him by the side of the road. So, regardless of how much experience they have, the rescuers expect the unexpected from an adult bobcat. It’s scary work but their deep love and respect for these animals is why they do it.
A Second Chance at a Free Life
One of the rescuers even got a souvenir, a scratch on her chin, or a “face full of bobcat,” they joked.
When it was time to catch Kamau, the rescuers noticed the other young rescued bobcats in the vicinity went into hiding, afraid of all the commotion. But that’s what the rescuers want because if they are to return to the wild, the cats must, unfortunately, learn to associate humans with danger. Otherwise, they wouldn’t last very long in the wild, especially with their territories growing smaller every day.
Here’s the moment that Kamau returned home on July 27, 2023:
“We invite you to witness the triumphant moment of Kamau’s return to the wild. Experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from seeing this courageous bobcat take his second chance at life in stride, showing us all the true strength and resilience of nature,” the rescuers shared.