By Stacia Kalinoski
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Two orphan bobcats showed up at a Springfield home last fall. They were quickly brought to a rehab center in Corvallis. Now, they’re ready for release.
The bobcats were just infants, but a long winter and spring of rehab has them hungry for life in their real environment.
The year-old brother and sister duo are healthy, hungry, and ready for the wild after spending most of their short lives at Chintimini Wildlife Rehab Center. They arrived as babies after showing up in a Springfield couple’s back yard.
“We figured they were probably in a den somewhere and once they started getting hungry they went out looking for mom and then wandered into these people’s back yard,” said Director Jeff Picton.
He and his crew nursed them from poor health into predators. The bobcats went through rehab to learn how to hunt their own food, and they progressed quickly. Picton says animals grow up faster and stronger when they have company.
“We found rat parts throughout the cage, so we know they’ve had the chance to hunt wild rats,” he said.
But as for taking a stab at people? Picton says they may look tough, but they’re just as scared of us as we are of them.
“They’re not at all friendly, we’ve kept them wild while they’re here,” he said.
He now hopes that leads to survival outside this cage. Their release is the reason Picton says he comes to work everyday.
“We figure this is the perfect day, it’s Earth day in Oregon, a perfect day,” he said.
The bobcats took full advantage of. Just as Picton predicted, they weren’t timid at all of the open space.
“What better way to celebrate then to let these guys have a second chance at life out there,” he said.
Picton expects the brother and sister duo will stay together until they find mates.