Home Offered for Illinois Bobcat Seized in Gun Raid
Thanks to some wildlife sanctuaries, Lynxie the Bobcat's story will have a happier ending than its beginning.
There are all sorts of people out there with all sorts of exotic pets. Sometimes things work out just fine, but in many other cases a wild animal that finds itself as a pet (or even worse, a guard-animal) has a sad story to go with it.
Case in point, Lynxie the bobcat was found by police February 28th in a place that you wouldn't expect. A small office at a shuttered storefront in Orland Park where cops seized a cache of unlawful firearms from a convicted felon. Those charges also include illegal possession of a wild animal.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said the bobcat, which cannot be released back into the wild due to its front paws being declawed, is being kept at an undisclosed approved facility while the investigation is ongoing.
Tammy Thies, founder and president of the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minn., said her facility, as well as similar rescue groups, are willing to take Lynxie in once a judge determines it is time to find the animal a permanent home.
Thies said it isn't uncommon for exotic animals seized in similar investigations to be kept in "witness protection."
So, even if you were inclined to have a bobcat as a pet or guard-cat (both illegal), where would you go about getting one?
Thies, whose rescue houses about 100 rescued wildcats, including 30 bobcats, said many of the bobcats encountered by rescue groups in the United States come from the same breeder in Idaho, who ships bobcat and lynx kittens around the country.
"Most of the bobcats we rescue, we can trace back to [the breeder]," Thies said. "Most have neurological problems."
She said most bobcats kept as pets end up homeless when they become adults.
"Even in states where owning a wild or exotic cat is legal, finding a vet to treat the animal can be a challenge. Most liability policies will not cover the damage a wildcat might cause to another pet or person," she said.