Rescued as a kitten in July 2016, the bobcat will be released on January 8

Maitland, FL | January 08, 2017

The Nature Conservancy Florida and Big Cat Rescue are partnering for the second time to release a bobcat to the Tiger Creek Preserve. The bobcat, rescued as a tiny kitten in July of 2016, will be released to the Preserve on Sunday, January 8.

The Tiger Creek Preserve is located in Polk County and has been owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy since 1972. The preserve encompasses 5,000 acres of diverse habitat including sand-hill, scrubby flatwoods, flatwoods, marsh and forested wetlands and contains two pristine black-water streams and numerous ponds. The preserve is adjacent to thousands of acres of protected lands providing for a perfect home for its new resident.

"The Nature Conservancy’s Tiger Creek Preserve is the perfect location for this young bobcat. We expect her to do very well in the healthy, maintained habitat of this protected area,” said Adam Peterson, Central Florida Fire and Land Management Specialist, The Nature Conservancy.

The tiny, two-pound bobcat kitten was found alone in the middle of a road near Orlando and scooped up by good samaritans. They took her to a nearby clinic, which then contacted Big Cat Rescue. Big Cat Rescue immediately drove to the clinic and took possession of the kitten, which the sanctuary named Spirit Feather. Thanks to the efforts of Big Cat Rescue’s bobcat rehabilitation team, Spirit Feather was treated for fleas and hookworms, taught to hunt on her own and rehabilitated to be returned to the wild.

“Spirit Feather has grown up to become a strong, feisty bobcat equipped with the skills to return to the wild where she belongs,” said Jamie Veronica, President of Big Cat Rescue. “We are very happy that she will be released on a vast, protected property and find everything she needs there 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. 

Big Cat Rescue is one of the largest accredited sanctuaries in the world entirely devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for abused and abandoned exotic cats. Located in Tampa, FL Big Cat Rescue is home to approximately 80 exotic cats, most of whom were abandoned, neglected or abused. The sanctuary’s dual mission is to provide the best possible home for the cats in our care and to educate the public about the plight of big cats in captivity and in the wild.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.

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Fran Perchick


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