Meet Diego, Our Bobcat
In March 2017, an emaciated and dehydrated baby California bobcat was dropped off at a Rancho Bernardo pet hospital. The people that dropped him off said they found the bobcat near a community pool; however, there was no way to tell whether the bobcat was truly a wild animal or an illegally-bred, captive exotic cat, as the people that dropped him off refused to give their name or contact information.
As sick as the bobcat (Diego) was, he did not exhibit any behavior typical of a wild bobcat and appeared to be accustomed to human contact. When he arrived at the pet hospital, the cub already knew how to feed out of a bottle, would purr when held, and constantly sought human contact. After administering medical treatment for two days to stabilize the bobcat, the pet hospital contacted Lions Tigers & Bears to provide permanent refuge in coordination with California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Upon arrival at Lions Tigers & Bears, Bobbi and our staff found that Diego was very trusting of humans. We began acclimating Diego to life at our sanctuary. However, a week later, California Department of Fish and Wildlife reversed their decision for Lions Tigers & Bears to provide permanent sanctuary, and instead Department officials transferred Diego to a rehabilitation center in Northern California.
After a 6-month attempt at "deprogramming" this orphaned baby bobcat failed at the Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation Center (WERC) in northern California, Lions Tigers & Bears received a call yet again to take in Diego. We welcomed Diego back to our sanctuary in November 2017, and now Diego can call Lions Tigers & Bears his forever home.