New Brunswick

Young bobcat rescued in N.B. was 'starving to death'

A young bobcat now being cared for at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute in Cookville, N.B., is doing well after being found in very bad condition about a week ago.

Pam Novak says heavy snow is making it difficult for wildlife to find food this winter

A young bobcat now being cared for at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute in Cookville, N.B. is doing well after being found in very bad condition about a week ago. 

Pam Novak says when the call came in the female bobcat was on the highway near Richibucto and they suspected she had been hit by a vehicle. 

"She wasn't able to stand or walk properly, she was falling over," Novak said.

After getting the wild cat into a trap, she was taken to the vet which found she didn't have any obvious physical injuries.

"She was extremely underweight so she's really just starving to death."

Novak says she wasn't sure whether the bobcat would survive but since arriving at the institute near Sackville, she is improving.

"She's quite aggressive, really alert, eating really well so hopefully we're keeping our fingers crossed that she's going to continue to improve and get her back out when the weather conditions improve."

Novak says with the heavy snow cover many wild animals are having difficulty finding food this winter, especially young ones.

"This was a young female so she's probably last year's young out on her own, trying to find food and obviously not having a good time of it because their main diet is going to be everything from snowshoe hares to small rodents and birds and as the snow cover gets deeper, especially with rodents, it's harder and harder to find them."

Novak says this is the second bobcat the Atlantic Wildlife Institute is caring for and it is proving to be a challenge.

"I would say bobcats, from all the animals that we deal with, are probably the toughest to handle," Novak said.

They are so agile … so they really are the most challenging even from all the other animals we've ever dealt with from seals, to moose to bears."

Novak says the young bobcat won't be released until some of the snow has melted and she is confident she can survive.

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