RAMONA, Calif. (CNS) - An injured, pregnant bobcat that was found last month in Rancho Bernardo and treated by the San Diego Humane Society's Project Wildlife medical staff has been released back into the wild, it was announced Monday.
The bobcat was found in the median of Bernardo Center Road on Dec. 16 and taken to the Humane Society's Pilar and Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center in San Diego for triage care.
Veterinarians determined the bobcat had likely been struck by a vehicle and needed extensive medical treatment at the Humane Society's Ramona Wildlife Center.
Once sedated, veterinarians performed an ultrasound and discovered the bobcat was pregnant and suffering from a fractured jaw. For weeks, medical staff at the Ramona Wildlife Center worked to stabilize and strengthen the cat's jaw with sutures and wiring. As the bobcat recovered, she progressed in stages, from eating a soft diet to chopped foods and eventually to solid foods and her natural prey diet.
She was released late Sunday afternoon in Rancho Bernardo, not far from where she was found.
"This bobcat is a fighter and we are thrilled she has returned to her natural habitat," said Christine Barton, director of operations and wildlife rehabilitation at the Ramona Wildlife Center. "We are lucky that she continued eating on her own through her treatment as daily hand-feeding of an adult bobcat would not have been feasible.
"This case was extra special, since we learned during her initial ultrasound that she was expecting kittens," Barton added. "We've been like a protective extended family, preserving not one, but three lives. We are happy that she and her unborn kittens can resume their role as apex predators here in San Diego County."