Bobcat Update: Excellent Follow-Up + Outback Move

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The bobcat getting used to her new outdoor enclosure after a visit to the vet.

First, thanks so much for the incredible support and donations to our Bobcat Recovery Fund. As you know Chintimini Wildlife Center receives no government funding, so every donation goes a long way.

We were able to use the funds to cover the bobcat’s post surgery follow-up examination. After being hit by a car and suffering from a broken femur, she underwent a very successful surgery by our partners at the OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. She has been putting weight on her leg and otherwise acting like a normal feisty bobcat. But before we could move her to an outdoor enclosure in the outback, Jennifer J. Warnock, DVM, PhD wanted to make sure she was healing well enough to make the transition. 

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From left: Resident Jesse Terry, Student Jessica Premitt & Jennifer Warnock, DVM, PhD shows x-rays to CWC’s Executive Director Jeff Picton

On Friday, March 18th, CWC’s Executive Director Jeff Picton and Animal Care Director Mary Estes brought the bobcat in to the vet school for her follow-up examination. After anesthetizing the bobcat and taking a series of x-rays, Dr. Warnock found her leg to be 90% healed, with good callus formation along the fracture site. In fact, looking at the healed bone, it is difficult to even tell where the break originally was. This remarkable recovery is a reflection of the absolutely excellent craftsmanship on the part of Dr. Warnock and the talented staff at the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Â Without their generous help, the outcome for this cat would have been much less certain.

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Left: x-rays before surgery, Right: x-rays with rod in place

Dr. Warnock gave the go-ahead for the cat to be transferred to an outdoor enclosure that is outfitted with natural vegetation, climbing surfaces and hiding areas that mimic her native environment. Now she will be able to exercise her leg and regain the muscle strength necessary to survive in the wild. The fur on her leg is slow to grow back, but the hope is that being outside may help promote growth. The plates that were put into her leg will remain because a secondary surgery to remove them would mean increased surgical risks and an extended time in captivity, and they shouldn’t affect her life in the wild.

CWC is optimistic that she will be released in the late spring or early summer when the weather is favorable and when there is an abundance of prey. In the meantime, we promise to keep everyone informed of her progress.

If you would like to contribute to her continued care and rehabilitation, kindly donate to the Bobcat Recovery Fund. Thanks in advance for your support and interest in the Chintimini Wildlife Center.

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