Two bobcat kittens have died after a Texas woman, who mistook them as domestic cats, "rescued" them and took the felines into her home.
Bobcat Kittens Mistaken As Bengal Cats
Jane Dinscore initially told animal care workers that she found the cats in an alleyway and attempted to rescue them, thinking they were house cats. However, she later told the local media that it was her brother who found the felines on his property and thought the animals were Bengal cats, a rare domestic breed.
Dinscore nonetheless maintained that she always thought that the kittens were domestic cats and said that she contacted San Antonio's Animal Care Services after the animals had started to behave aggressively. She said that the cats bit her and her family, and ripped up milk bottles.
Cause Of Death
The Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation said that the kittens suffered from feline panleukopenia, the cat version of the parvovirus. Symptoms of the serious and highly contagious include vomiting, fever, dehydration, and neurological symptoms.
The WRR said that the kittens likely contracted the virus two weeks prior to their deaths. Mason Payne, a Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation veterinarian, said that it is possible the kittens were taken from their mother while they were too young, which increased their susceptibility to the disease.
Young Bobcats often remain with their mother for nine to 12 months after birth. They learn to hunt during this time before they set out on their own. The Bobcats that Dinscore took home were 3 months old when they died.
"Infant wild animals are fragile, vulnerable creatures and we cannot imagine the stress that taking them from their mother and natural habitat puts on their immune systems," WRR said in a statement.
"No human can replicate the care given by a mother or father in the wild. We are saddened by this tragedy."
The Bobcats had been at the sanctuary for more than a week before they died. Lynn Cuny, the WRR founder, admitted that they had low expectations that the kittens would survive after all that they have been through.
Dinscore was issued a criminal citation on May 15.
Bobcats, also called wildcats, are elusive and nocturnal animals. They are about twice as big as the average house cats.
They have tufted ears, large paws, and long legs. Most of them are brown or brownish red with a white underbelly. They also have a short and black-tipped tail.