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. 

Continue reading

Little Ones Tend to Hide Their Biggest Problems

Alexis Davidson, Class of 2023

Back in August, a juvenile female eastern gray squirrel presented to the Wildlife Medical Clinic after being picked up by a dog. It was suspected that she had fallen from her nest and that her canine companion found her opportunistically. During the initial intake, we noted bloody nasal discharge and fleas, with all other examination finding being normal. We knew she had been only recently injured as she had an appropriate body condition, no dehydration, and was bright and alert during the exam. Her treatments began with us clearing her nasal passages, administering supportive fluids, treating her for fleas, and beginning a course of anti-inflammatory medication to address the injuries she sustained from both the suspected fall and her mostly well-meaning canine finder. Our plan was to provide for her basic needs, including food, water, and shelter, continue her medication, and perform another exam in a few days to ensure we accounted for any developing (but not yet apparent) concerns.

Continue reading

A Tribute to Delphine

This past week our beloved ambassador, Delphine, was humanely euthanized due to her declining health. Our Wildlife Medical Clinic community is deeply saddened with the loss and we appreciate all of the kind words and support during this difficult time. Delphine was beloved by her caretakers, volunteers, community members, and social media followers. Delphine lived a wonderful life at WMC, where she enjoyed delicious food, comfy beds, lots of interactive enrichment, and endless love and attention from her caretakers over her three and a half years with us. Although Delphine’s life has come to an end, her legacy and impact on wildlife education will carry on.

Del was brought into WMC in 2017 after being found orphaned and subsequently hand-reared by a well-meaning member of the public. Due to her habituation to humans, she was deemed non-releasable. Luckily, Delphine’s friendly demeanor made her a perfect candidate to join the ambassador animals at WMC, representing our only mammal in the collection during her tenure. The name Delphine was inspired after the scientific name for opossum, Didelphis virginiana. Delphine, or “Del” served as an ambassador for her species, the only native North American marsupial. Although well intentioned, Del was an example of why orphaned wildlife should only be cared for by licensed wildlife rehabilitators, where they have the best chance of being released back into the wild. Continue reading