A hiker walking his dog on a mountain trail near Sausalito was surprised to witness a lone predator stalking another hiker as they trekked, but when he and his dog walked past the wild animal, he became its target. Fortunately for the hiker, the lone predator happened to be a wobbly, four-week-old bobcat kitten.
The kitten seemed in need of help and is most likely hungry, which is probably why it was stalking anything that moved, so hikers wrapped it up in a warm sweatshirt and brought it to the Ranger Station in hopes that they could reunite the kitten with its family.
However, things are not so simple because the kitten was discovered on a busy trail and none of the rangers had any idea where its den could be.
The next best course of action was to find a place where the kitten could temporarily stay, so a Marin Humane officer decided to get in touch with WildCare, a group that has experience dealing with wild animals.
The Bobcat Kitten At WildCare
The WildCare medical staff originally assumed that they will be receiving an injured young bobcat when they received the call, so they were all surprised to see a one-month-old kitten in a shoebox-sized carrier.
"True wild kittens don't usually leave their den and its surrounding area until they're old enough to keep up with Mom on her hunting forays. Very young Bobcats are hardly ever seen by humans," Alison Hermance of WildCare explained.
Medical officers quickly examined the kitten and noted that, apart from the usual flea and tick population and dehydration, it was clinically healthy.
The kitten also seemed to experience high stress levels, possibly from being surrounded by so many humans, that WildCare staff made sure to wear protective gloves while examining it. They also kept their voices low during the entire examination since bobcats have sensitive ears and hearing loud noises could elevate its stress levels, which is not a good thing when combined with sharp claws and teeth, as well as the species' natural aggressiveness.
Fortunately for the staff, this particular kitten didn't become aggressive during the test so they were able to treat its dehydration with hydrating subcutaneous fluids and take care of the fleas and ticks, as well.
Watch the video of the kitten's examination below.
As a reward, and because the kitten was probably hungry, the staff presented the kitten with chopped up mice, which was gladly accepted and eaten with gusto.
Just listen to the sound of excited chewing from the kitten.
The Kitten's Future
Since the kitten could not be returned to its den, WildCare needed a place for it to stay, preferably where it can interact with its kind so it won't be too used to human contact. Fortunately, Sierra Wildlife Rescue recently took in two orphaned bobcat kittens only a few weeks older than the one found in Sausalito, so WildCare quickly made arrangements to transport it.
Here is the kitten exploring its temporary territory as it waited for transport to its adoptive siblings.
According to WildCare, Sierra informed them that the kitten is thriving with the other two orphans and is growing healthier too. It will be transported back to WildCare after a little over two months to be released back to its home territory.
Hermance is not really expecting the kitten to cooperate when the time comes for it to be released because of WildCare's previous experiences with Bobcats.
"Our medical staff person opens the door to the carrier, and...the cat just sits there like, 'Oh heck no, I'm not coming out," Hermance recounted.
She also said that the cat would eventually run off and be happy, it's just that they'll do so on their own terms, not when the humans expect them to.