The recent controversy surrounding a bobcat kitten that Big Cat Rescue was asked to rehabilitate and release just goes to show how irresponsible Big Cat Rescue truly is.
In a Youtube video posted yesterday, Big Cat Rescue announced that the bobcat kitten had sadly passed away in their care. If that wasn't already bad enough, the bobcat kitten was discovered to be carrying a contagious virus.
According to Big Cat Rescue, the bobcat kitten that passed away was carrying a highly life-threatening and contagious virus called Feline Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper). The cats that have the highest risk of developing severe disease symptoms are kittens and elderly cats (Big Cat Rescue has many elderly cats).
Big Cat Rescue was raising the bobcat with domesticated kittens and a nursing domesticated mother cat. They put those cats at serious risk by not testing the baby bobcat for diseases prior to putting it with other kittens and it’s foster mom. They could have bottle fed the bobcat kitten until the test results came back. One would think they would've already known this since they always claim they are ‘experts’ in bobcat rehabilitation.
We also wonder whether or not the bobcat kitten would've ever been suitable for release since it was being raised by domesticated cats that were affectionate towards humans.
Could the contagious virus have possibly spread even further? According to a recent review of Big Cat Rescue on TripAdvisor, “there were multiple house cats roaming around with no tags.” The video below allows us to safely assume the reviewer is telling the truth.
UPDATE - 5/21/2015
There has been a confirmed report of a bobcat kitten being found within a couple miles of Big Cat Rescue's location and turned over to FWC who placed it in another facility. The kitten is about the same age as the one mentioned in this blog post and is said to be very tame around people. It was found around the same time Big Cat Rescue announced the death of their bobcat kitten.