Defenders of Wildlife

Nowhere To Go

Nowhere To Go
Nowhere To Go

My family caught a bobcat on our farm, but had no idea what to do with him. Through the graciousness of one man, he found a new home.

My dad and my uncle share a 10-acre lot of land, on which they used to have peacocks, guineas, turkeys, chickens, emu, ducks and more. It was a feather-friendly environment if you'd ever seen one - collections of animals mingling around for the simple sake of my uncle enjoying their presence. Unfortunately, my uncle was no longer able to keep up the bird ranch and had to sell some of the animals to others. But before that happened, he was troubled by vultures, wild dogs, and among other things, a bobcat.

This bobcat came out of nowhere and started killing off the birds, mostly the smaller ones. My uncle had caught a glimpse of him and feared for his birds', dogs' and cats' safety. He was troubled about what he was going to do, until he set a plan up to catch the bobcat and find him a new home. Catching the bobcat proved to be easy. He and my dad built a trap large enough and sturdy enough to hold the bobcat in comfort. Then they placed inside several pounds of raw steak to lure him in. The bobcat was caught within two days, but then came the hardest part. Where was he going to go?

First, they called Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. The zoo didn't have any room for him nor, they claimed, could they take in just any animal, especially since the zoo didn't have a local wildlife area and had no plans to build one. So they called the Wildlife Center in North Carolina, who said they already had a bobcat and didn't need another one. They called the local wildlife rescue center. They told my dad and uncle they didn't have the capacity to hold the bobcat or feed it until they found a reasonable place to put him. Most of these places they called looking for a home for the bobcat told my dad and uncle to put him down. There was nothing they could do.

How could this be was the question on everyone's mind. They had thought that trapping the bobcat and taking care of it would be a temporary solution, that they would find a place for him easily. No one expected the answer to be death. Not from a zoo or a wildlife center dedicating to promoting education, awareness, and tolerance of the animals around us. There was simply no room. No funding. No nothing for this poor bobcat. It was sad to think that government funding hadn't set up something for animals like this so that organizations dedicated to promoting the lives of these animals could handle any demands placed on them.

Finally, and with much relief, a man in Florence, SC was found who owned a large amount of property he was not using. He allowed my dad and uncle to bring the bobcat there and release him back into the wild with the hopes he wouldn't make his way back to where he came from. It was thanks to this man, the bobcat was given a home and a life he knew. It was thanks to this man that his life was spared and no one suffered from it (other than the money it cost to feed the poor creature while in brief captivity).

There needs to be more work done for the protection of nature. There needs to be homes that animals like this bobcat can find. There need to be more people like the generous man from Florence. There needs to be a solution to the problem of animals losing their homes, instead of destroying the homes they have and leaving no place for them to go. The bobcat was lucky, but how many aren't?


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