Francis is a male bobcat who arrived at the sanctuary in 2016 with his brother Belvedere. They were only six months old at the time.
Imagine you’re walking along a path outdoors, you see two little balls of fur on the dirt path in front of you. They’re meowing. Loudly. No mother is in sight. You’re worried for them and you don’t want to leave them in harm’s way. You scoop them up and bring them home. You think you’ve saved their lives.
Often, no matter how well intentioned, you actually just sentenced them to live in a cage – for life.
In your heart, you want to give them the best chance at life. For weeks, you keep them in your home while searching for the right rehabilitation center or wildlife agency. After a few weeks or more, you finally decide it’s time to bring them in to a rehabber so they can care for them until they can be free.
But, the sad reality is, they’re often destined to life in captivity. Picking up or ‘rescuing’ baby wildlife unnecessarily turns these animals into orphans – when they were never even orphaned at all. Their mother’s often left searching for her young.
Sadly, baby wildlife that imprint on humans are less likely to survive when they’re released back into the wild. This is exactly what happened to these two brothers from Arizona and why they came to The Wildcat Sanctuary to live out their lives.
Life at the Sanctuary
The brothers were introduced to another orphaned bobcat at the sanctuary named Autumn. He’d lost the only family he knew when his sibling was hit and killed by a car, and then his mother was killed when she tried to help Autumn’s sibling.
We hoped Autumn would find comfort with this new surrogate family – and he has!
The boys greeted Autumn right away, but he was cautious. He hissed and observed them from a distance for most of the first day. But, as caretakers approached the next morning, they were so happy seeing all three curled up sleeping together.
And the kittens have been inseparable ever since!
We saw Autumn come out of his shell quickly with these two rambunctious, playful brothers. What used to be a scared little bobcat kitten, afraid of humans, is now romping through the grass after his new brothers.
And our hearts melted the first time we saw them all napping in a pile together.
Of course, we wish they could’ve all grown up in the wild. But, if they couldn’t, at least we can provide them a wild at heart life together.
How You Can Help
Rescuing young wild cats is so expensive, especially since you have 20+ years ahead of care costs. That’s why our sponsorship program is such a huge help! Would you consider being Francis’ sponsor parent?
Or even a one time donation towards his care would help so much. It’s easy to do using the buttons you see at the top of this page. Thank you!