Note: After finishing this post, I realized that in my last post, I claimed I was going to write about the Leopard and the Cow next. Oops! This bobcat/fawn story overruled that plan I guess. The Leopard and the Cow coming soon!
Because I live in the midwest, I sure do take for granted the devastation of a forest fire, the impacts of such a trauma on the people and wildlife in the area, and the work that needs to be done to contain, restore and rehabilitate as a result. It is amazing the time and the courage that firefighters invest in trying to contain such overwhelming and unruly fires. And this particular story made me appreciate the lesser-sung efforts made by animal rescue groups to save and rehabilitate the large number of wildlife displaced by fire.
In May of 2009 the Jesusita Fire near Santa Barbara brought two unlikely friends together. A week before they rescued the fawn, the Solvang Animal Rescue team had rescued a tiny bobcat kitten, dehydrated and near death. He was being kept at the sheriff’s department because local wildlife centers were already crowded, and he was being given round-the-clock care. For a time, his survival was a question mark.
During forest fires, animals instinctively know to run to safety. But not everyone makes it out. So animal rescue teams will comb the area looking for injured animals, or animals separated from their mommas and too young to know what to do. On such an expedition, the same rescue team picked up a young deer, weak, wandering aimlessly, and crying. (Doesn’t this just make you SO grateful for animal rescue?!)
The fawn was also taken to the sheriff’s department, where crates for animals were in short supply. Even though they usually never put different species together, in this case the team had no other option due to limited space. So when they brought the fawn in, the bobcat kitten went right over to her, cuddled up to her, and went to sleep. (Can I get an AWWWWW!) Ordinarily, for an adult bobcat, a fawn would be prey. But for the next two hours, these little ones, whose predator/prey instincts were still undeveloped, provided warmth and comfort for each other.
The fawn was eventually relocated and put with other fawns to grow up among its own kind. When the fawn reached one year of age, the deer herd was set free.
The bobcat remains in captivity, and has become a stealthy, successful hunter.
Our hearts and prayers go out for those impacted by this year’s Colorado wildfires.
Info and images courtesy of
- Unlikely Friendships, Jennifer S. Holland
Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked
You must be logged in to post a comment.