State endangered bobcat successfully released four months after being struck by a car

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Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, a New Jersey wildlife rehabilitation facility, received a badly injured bobcat from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Endangered and Non-Game Species Program’s bobcat biologist Gretchen Fowles in November 2016. The six-month-old male bobcat had been struck by a car and suffered a concussion and severe fractures to a femur (upper rear leg) and hock (ankle) joint.

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Veterinary evaluation by Voorhees Corner Veterinary Clinic in Flemington, NJ determined the need for orthopedic surgery to repair the fractures. Further assessment was done by Doctor Wendy Ross, orthopedic surgeon at Crown Veterinary Specialists in Lebanon, NJ.  Dr. Ross was optimistic that even though the surgery would be extensive the repairs should be successful, especially given the cat’s young age.

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Woodlands, a non-profit organization depending completely on donations, launched a successful on-line fundraiser for his surgery and after care. The surgical repairs involved pinning and wiring, and applying plates and screws to both fractures. Once the surgery was completed the bobcat was kept at Woodlands for its long recovery and recuperation. This required keeping the cat confined for several weeks in a small enclosure to minimize movement then slowly increasing the space allowing more and more mobility.

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“Keeping a bobcat confined to a small space was no easy feat. As far as he was concerned he was ready to go the day after surgery. Such is the wild spirit,” says Tracy Leaver, Woodlands’ Executive Director. She also stated that “The healing power of the wild animals we work with constantly amazes me and giving them a second chance is what we do.”  A follow-up exam showed good progress and shortly thereafter the cat was moved to a pre-release conditioning enclosure where he could climb and jump and gain his strength back.

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On March 29th the bobcat was given his freedom back and released to his native habitat in North Jersey.  Pictures of his case can be seen on the Woodlands Wildlife Refuge Face Book page as well as the website atwww.woodlandswildlife.org/news section.

Donations are appreciated to support the on-going service Woodlands provides to New Jersey’s wildlife, giving them a second chance, and can be sent to Woodlands Wildlife Refuge PO Box 5046 Clinton, NJ 08809 or made on-line www.woodlandswildlife.org/donate.

Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, located in Hunterdon County, has been caring for New Jersey’s orphaned and injured wildlife for 30 years and cares for over 1100 animals annually. Woodlands has cared for almost 30 state endangered bobcats since 1997 and appreciates the collaborative effort with the New Jersey Endangered and Non-Game Species Program.

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