New Brunswick

Bobcat, lynx nursed back to health at Atlantic Wildlife Institute

The Atlantic Wildlife Institute has had a busy year nursing some wild animals back to health.

'As good as we try to be here, their wild mom is much better'

The Atlantic Wildlife Institute recently released this bobcat that's been with them for about a year. (Atlantic Wildlife Institute/Facebook)

The Atlantic Wildlife Institute in Cookville, New Brunswick has been busy nursing some wild felines back to health.

The institute's Pam Novak said they rehabilitated a bobcat and lynx that were recently been released, and now a second bobcat is prowling the premises.

She said the first bobcat arrived last fall as a "tiny little thing," that would have perished in the wild.

Before it left, it grew into a high-energy animal.

"We had to kind of keep her for quite a while to raise her and to make sure she was getting her wild instincts and things back but it took a while," Novak said.

A lot of times with any of the wild animals you really want to give them the benefit of the doubt and see if their mother is around.—Pam Novak

The bobcat eventually started showing signs of aggression and not wanting to be near humans — which is a great sign, Novak added.

"She finally told us it was time to go so we were happy to give her that chance."

'Their wild mom is much better'

The institute's newest bobcat cub is just over a month old and could fit in the palm of a hand, Novak said.

It was found in someone's backyard near the Saint George, N.B., area with no mother in sight. After a couple of days, someone from the Department of Natural Resources retrieved the animal, she added.

Novak said even if they seem abandoned, it's important to leave young animals for about 24 to 48 hours to see whether the mother will return. People shouldn't interfere — unless, of course, there's a physical injury or an immediate need to help the animal, she said.

This bobcat kitten came to the institute last year. Another baby bobcat has recently arrived to the institute as well. (Atlantic Wildlife Institute/Facebook)

"A lot of times with any of the wild animals you really want to give them the benefit of the doubt and see if their mother is around," she said.

"Because as good as we try to be here, their wild mom is much better."

The young bobcat will be with the institute through the winter and they hope to release it in the spring or summer.

Endangered lynx nursed up, sent home

Among the wild cats coming and going at the institute was an endangered lynx.

This animal was also found in someone's backyard, though in the Rogersville, N.B., area.

Novak said when it arrived at the Institute, the adult female lynx had "really poor body condition, she was literally just starving."

Novak and the institute helped give this endangered lynx new life. (Atlantic Wildlife Institute/Facebook)

They kept the female lynx for about a month, during which time they dewormed and fed it before releasing it back to the wild. 

"Once we knew she started gaining weight, she was gaining more energy, her wild instincts started back and she became quite aggressive and quite not wanting to be here anymore," Novak said. 

"We were glad to return her back … she was brought back up to the territory where she was found."

With files from Shift New Brunswick

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