A Hairy Case: Our Lessons from an Adult Bobcat

Kaylee Cox & Natalie Zimmerman c/o 2022)

This February, a 30-pound male bobcat presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic after a long journey from western Illinois.  He was found on the side of the road by Illinois DNR who brought him to a local veterinarian (and former WMC volunteer!) who was able to stabilize the bobcat and begin diagnostics to assess the patient. There, radiographs revealed that this bobcat had pelvic fractures, likely from being hit by a car, as well as several bullet fragments throughout its abdomen. Because this veterinarian is a former WMC volunteer, she knew exactly who to call for continued care – our very own veterinary staff here at the Wildlife Medical Clinic! After the arrangements were made, this bobcat’s three-hour journey across Illinois began. 

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Meet Chloe!

The Wildlife Medical Clinic would like to welcome our newest Student Manager, Chloe Dupleix! Chloe is from Louisiana where she attended Loyola University in New Orleans and received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Chemistry. Chloe started her veterinary career working in small animal and shelter medicine.


What field within veterinary medicine are you interested in?

I am currently interested in wildlife medicine and I am going to try to get my Master’s in Public Health after finishing here in 2024. I would like to end up working as a conservation veterinarian and work for Wildlife and Fisheries or another similar agency or sector.

What made you want to join the team at the Wildlife Medical Clinic?

I have never worked with wildlife before and I really wanted to do something new! I’ve been interested in wildlife medicine for a couple of years now and thought this would be a great experience for my future career. I was also attracted to the WMC because my big sibling (Lauren Vincent, WMC Team Leader and WMC Conservation Chair) and grand big sibling (Erica Bender, former WMC Manager) were really involved with the clinic, too, and I only heard glowing reviews.


What made you want to become a manager?

My time spent as a volunteer this fall made me want to be a manager. I always looked forward to coming to the clinic and getting to work with the patients that were here at the time. And I also absolutely adored everyone on my team. My teammates worked so well with each other and were always so helpful to us first years when it came to treatments and triage. I always had a really good time and I felt like I wanted to be more involved with the clinic.


What is your favorite animal to work within the Wildlife Medical Clinic?

I have really enjoyed working with the raptors that come in! I think I love great-horned owls the most, but I also liked working with the last bald eagle we had.

What has been your favorite part of being in the Wildlife Medical Clinic?

My favorite part about being in the Wildlife Medical Clinic is getting to interact with the local wildlife and getting lots of hands-on experience. I have also really enjoyed getting to know everyone involved with the clinic too.

Garter Snakes

Jamie Booth c/ o 2023

With summer finally creeping out, we are starting to see some of our warm weather wildlife starting to emerge! The most common snake in Illinois is the garter snake, and this is definitely one of the best creatures to come across in your yard. These snakes are roughly 2-3 feet long and are non-venomous, so they pose very little risk to humans. In fact, garter snakes provide some incredible vermin control by eating mice, voles, small insects, and more! This decreases potential disease spread and helps to keep gardens healthy. In addition to being environmentally helpful, garter snakes are also one of the more beautiful snakes we see. With varying colors, garter snakes have three yellow stripes on their bodies with some having additions of red throughout. Another interesting fact about garter snakes is that they are one of the few snake species who give birth to live young instead of laying eggs! Their young are small, being about 6 inches at the time of birth. Each snake can live anywhere from 3-10 years, depending on how fortunate they are to stay out of contact with dangerous humans. It can be a frightening sight to see a snake slithering around the yard, but these animals are immensely important for our ecosystems to keep everything running smoothly. If you ever come across a garter snake, we can guarantee that they want to interact with you even less than you want to interact with them! We recommend trying to shoo them away gently, making sure to never corner them. Snakes tend to get a bad reputation, but everything has its place in the world, and these little serpents are doing their best to contribute!