News Releases, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Illinois
3225 Vet. Med. Basic Sciences Bldg.
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, IL 61802
May 21, 2013

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Contact: Chris Beuoy

Orphaned Bobcat Cubs' Journey Brings Them to University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic

URBANA - Two female bobcats, estimated to be six to eight weeks old, are receiving care at the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Center after being discovered in freight train car about one hour south of Urbana.

The people who discovered the cubs did the right thing," stresses Dr. Julia Whittington, medical director of the non-profit, volunteer-run Wildlife Medical Clinic. "They noticed the cubs last Friday, and waited and watched to see if the mother was caring for the cubs. When there was no sign of a mother, the people alerted the authorities."

Dr. Whittington speculates that the mother bobcat "was using the train car as a den. When the train took off from Louisiana last Tuesday, apparently mom was not on board." The cubs are healthy, but were dehydrated when they arrived at the Wildlife Medical Center on Monday. They are receiving supportive care to stabilize their condition. Clinic leaders are working to identify a licensed rehabilitator that could continue care until the cubs are old enough to be released.

Bobcats are native to Illinois, according to Dr. Whittington.

About the Wildlife Medical Clinic

The Wildlife Medical Clinic is a non-profit organization, run primarily by student volunteers, that accepts ill, injured, or orphaned wildlife 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The clinic's primary goal is to help animals recover to be released back into the wild. It depends on fund-raising, donations and grants to cover the cost of medical equipment, diagnostic testing, specialist consultation and therapeutic and surgical treatments for wild patients. For more information, see