Turns out an abandoned kitten rescued from a busy parking lot by a good samaritan wasn't actually a kitten – it's a wild bobcat kit.
You can't blame a Minnesota man for scooping up the pitiably mewing furball... huddled up against a car tire in a busy parking lot is no place for man or beast.
"After bringing home the stray kitten and listening to it, he began to suspect it wasn't a domestic breed," related Tami Vogel, Communications Director at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota in Roseville, a suburb of the Twin Cities. “Thankfully, after calling around he found us and transferred the kit to our care.”
Staff at the WRC quickly realized the “kitten” was actually a bobcat (Lynx rufus), a North American wild cat commonly found in southern Canada, northern Mexico, and most of the 48 contiguous United States. The kit was determined to be in good health, though slightly dehydrated.
“She'll spend a few days with us stabilizing then we'll transfer her to another rehabber who works with bobcats,” according to the WRC's Facebook. “She'll eventually return to the wild. We're so thankful to have a great network of rehabbers and clients who make the time to help animals in need!”
Though the young bobcat can't tell us her story and the mother bobcat wasn't around when she was found, WRC staff “can make a guess based on what we see with a lot of other wildlife – a predator passed by, then everyone scattered. Mom and the rest of the litter stayed together but this little one got separated somehow, and mom didn't realize it to come back and check."
WRC guidelines are very straightforward when it comes to wild animal that appear to have been abandoned: “Don't feed it anything, don't handle it, leave it for mom to find. Then, if it's still there the next day all alone, bring it to a licensed rehabber." An exception was made in this case as the kit was found in an unsafe area. Interested readers (and bobcat moms with internet access) can find more info at the WRC website. (via LoveMeow and KSTP-TV)