Saturday, February 6, 2016

Bobcat siblings rescued, released in Venus preserve TY @BigCatRescue

— Two baby bobcat siblings, found on the side of the road last year, have been returned to a wildlife preserve in Venus after months of care and rehabilitation.

This is also the first time Nature Conservancy Florida and Big Cat Rescue have partnered in releasing the two bobcats to the Venus Flatwoods Preserve. The cats, rescued last July, were released Thursday.
The Venus preserve is west of Lake Okeechobee and has been protected and managed by The Nature Conservancy for over 20 years.

“This 100-acre property provides the perfect habitat for the bobcats. The preserve includes one of the few remaining areas of old growth longleaf pine forest in Florida and is home to many species of wildlife,” the group said in a news release.

Big Cat Rescue rescued the sibling bobcats, Rain (male) and Dancer (female), as kittens when they were found on the side of a highway in the county without their mother.

Big Cat Rescue’s bobcat rehabilitation team provided the wild cats with the care and training they needed to be returned to the wild, the group said.

Cameras will be set up on the preserve to continue to monitor the now nine-month-old-cats.
The preserve is surrounded by timber, citrus and cattle ranch land, and its borders are not
adjacent to highways or heavily trafficked areas that would endanger the cats.

“The Nature Conservancy’s Venus Flatwoods Preserve is the perfect location for these two
young bobcats. We expect them to do very well in the healthy, maintained habitat of this protected property,” said Adam Peterson, Central Florida Fire and Land Management specialist, The Nature Conservancy.

“Rain and Dancer have grown up to become strong, healthy bobcats equipped with the skills to return to the wild where they belong,” said Jamie Veronica, president of Big Cat Rescue. “We are thrilled that they will be released on a vast, protected property where they will be able to find everything they need to thrive.”

Bobcats are found throughout Florida. They prefer deep forests and are also adaptable to swamps, hammock, and rural landscapes, as well as urban and suburban backyards.



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