Dateline – September 21, 2014
We stopped by to check in on little Josey again just a over a week ago. Josey has been under the care of the good folks at the Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch (WCCR) since she was found orphaned way back in April of 2014. I am happy to report that she is doing just fine!
Josey has recently been moved to an outdoor enclosure which allows her fresh air and plenty of room to play and exercise. She shares this space with two other Bobcats—a rambunctious young kitten named Crystal, and an older cat named Saturday.
Across the way from these three is another adult Bobcat named Hoover. His fur has a more reddish tint than that of the others.
It is interesting to note from these photographs that every Bobcat has a different appearance. Some Bobcats have vividly spotted coats, while others sport an almost uniform tawny color. Overall coloration can range from gray to tan to red. Bobcats also have unique facial features just like people do—if you spend enough time around these animals it is not difficult to tell them apart.
Baby season is almost over for the year and things have slowed down a bit at the Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch as a result. Many of the orphaned and injured animals that had been receiving care over the summer have now been released back into the wild. The foxes, raccoons, and skunks have all been reintroduced.
A few stragglers remain, however, with Porcia the Porcupine being the most prominent. I’ve told Porcia’s remarkable story in one of the earlier posts in this series. If you haven’t read it yet, it would be worth your while to go back and check it out now.
Porcia’s rehabilitation is complete, and she will be returned to the wild soon. I believe the intention is to release Porcia in the Texas Hill Country at the very first opportunity to do so.
Right next door to Porcia’s enclosure is a large aquarium holding a Common Snapping Turtle, also under the care of the rehabbers at the WCCR. For those of you who have been following the story of the Mute Swan cygnets at Josey Ranch Lake in Carrollton—the picture below provides a nice look at the kind of turtle that has taken so many young waterfowl at that park.
These aquatic turtles sneak up under unsuspecting ducklings and drag them beneath the water’s surface before they even know what hit them. At least one—and possibly two—young swans were lost to Common Snapping Turtles this summer at Josey Ranch Lake. But we bear no grudges, this is only what snapping turtles do.
Inside the clinic we met some of the new arrivals at the center. Devon and Ella were rescued from a pile of timber that had been set ablaze. The two young Bobcats suffered severe burns on multiple parts of their bodies, but they have recovered nicely and their prognosis is good. In just a few weeks their wounds have largely healed, leaving the folks at the WCCR with two rowdy and playful kittens to deal with.
Many of you might also remember Toby from our last Josey update. This unusual and lively kitten is also doing well and is growing fast.
Toby appears to be slightly different from the other young Bobcats at the Wildlife Center. His fur is lighter in color and is much more fluffy than that of the other kittens at the facility. One thing Toby does have in common with those other young cats, however, is his love for raucous play. We did our best to wear him out!
Josey has about another five to six months at the center before she will be ready for release. We are looking forward to that day and plan to be there to record the big event in pictures when it happens!