This cute 3-week-old male bobcat is receiving care by
wildlife specialists at Lake Metroparks Wildlife Center
On May 13, the Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (DOW) contacted the Lake Metroparks Wildlife Center to arrange care for this orphaned bobcat. It was found by the side of a road in Athens, Ohio (southeast of Columbus) not far from a dead female bobcat. DOW transported the baby bobcat to the Wildlife Center on May 14.
"That ODNR Division of Wildlife would choose to entrust care of this orphaned bobcat to Lake Metroparks demonstrates confidence in our Wildlife Center," notes Paul Palagyi, Lake Metroparks Executive Director. "This affirms the Center's excellent reputation and the high level of care that our professional, educated and experienced staff provides."
A local veterinarian performed a full physical exam on the animal and determined he was fairly healthy except for being slightly malnourished and needing treatment for parasites. Wildlife Center staff anticipate to remedy both conditions. The bobcat is fed formula every two hours for 16 hours a day and making steady improvement. Young bobcats can survive alone in the wild around six to nine months of age. The goal is to release the bobcat back into a suitable habitat as determined by the DOW sometime this fall.
Each year, nearly 2,000 injured or orphaned animals receive first aid and rehabilitation at the Wildlife Center.Patients include backyard wildlife, such as rabbits and songbirds, and endangered species such as the peregrine falcon and bald eagle.Many eventually resume their life in the wild. Special attention is given to animals whose populations are in decline.
The Wildlife Center is home to
our animal ambassadors ranging from reptiles, mammals, to a variety of birds of prey. These animals assist the staff in educating the public, groups, and students about wildlife issues and conservation.
Get an up-close look at all of our amazing ambassadors in our Wildlife Center Yard!
Open 9 am to 5 pm daily.
Click on our Wish List to view items that the center needs and accepts in order to improve the care of animal patients. Items may be new or gently used.
Adopt an Animal
Lake Metroparks Animal Ambassadors represent a variety of native species of Ohio Wildlife. These residents are under the permanent care of the Wildlife Center staff because their injuries prohibited independent survival.
Sponsorships make a great gift for children, family and teachers
and are a unique opportunity for classrooms and scouts.
Injured, orphaned or sick wild animals need humane and intense care for recovery and release. Medical treatment, food and shelter can be costly. Your donation can help defray these costs and help us help these animals.
Click here to learn about our Adopt an Animal program.
Frequently Asked Wildlife Emergency Questions
How can I contact you? The Wildlife Helpline is 440-256-2131
What types of animals are cared for by the Wildlife Center? Approximately 2,000 injured or orphaned Ohio wildlife are cared for annually. Our goal is to return healthy wildlife back to the wild.
I found an injured bird or mammal - what should I do? Call the Wildlife Center Helpline at 440-256-2131 before bringing the animal in. We will help you decide what is best for that animal. We are open 9:00 to 5:00 daily (including Saturday and Sunday).
A bird just hit my window - should I bring it in? We recommend waiting at least one hour for the bird to recover on its own before trying to intervene. Always try and call the Wildlife Center Helpline
before bringing an injured animal into the Wildlife Center.
What should I do if I have a wildlife emergency after 5 pm? We have drop-off cages in front of the Wildlife Center for injured animals for after-hour emergencies. Make sure the animal is in a secure box (with a lid) or cage. Please fill out the information form attached to the drop off cage and you can check on the animal the next morning.
There is an orphaned fawn in my yard, should I bring it in? Call the Wildlife Center Helpline for advice. Very rarely is the fawn an orphan. The female deer will protect her young from predators by leaving them alone in a secluded spot and caring for them periodically. The fawn should be left alone and protected from children and pets.
Is the animal or bird I found really an orphan?
Probably not. Wildlife parents are very devoted to the care of their young and rarely abandon them. It is common for the young to be alone while the parents are off in search of the next meal.
Do you take all birds and animals?
Under state permits Lake Metroparks is not allowed to rehabilitate
skunks, raccoons, deer, coyote, and mute swans. The Wildlife Center does not take domestic and exotic animals which require specialized care. Call the Wildlife Center Helpline immediately for advice and referral numbers.
What happens to the animal after I bring it in? Our goal at the Wildlife Center is to return healthy wildlife back to the wild. The animal receives a physical exam, medical treatment and professional care during the length of its stay. You will be given a case number to check on the animal’s condition at any time and you will also receive a postcard when it is released.
What can I do to prevent wildlife orphans and injuries?
Check for nests before cutting down a tree or clearing brush. It is best to
cut trees and clear brush in the autumn when nesting season is over.
Place caps on all chimneys, vents and window wells to prevent animals from nesting there.
Keep your pets under control so that they do not injure wild animals.
Educate children to respect wild animals and their habitat, and not to try and catch or harass them.
Use caution when driving and watch the roadsides for wild animals, especially at dawn and dusk.
Recently we received a threatened species Spotted Turtle at our Wildlife Center. He was brought to us in early December 2009 by people who had him in captivity for a few months while being housed with their other turtles.
They had received him from a friend who had taken him out of the wild because he was missing his left, rear leg. This person thought they were doing him a service by taking him out of his natural habitat and keeping him in captivity because of this apparent handicap. In fact, most turtles that are missing a leg do not appear hampered in any way by the lack of an appendage. Generally, missing limbs occur due to predator species such as snapping turtles, bald eagles, raccoons, skunks and muskrats attacking them in or out of the water, but the natural ability of a reptile to heal on its own is what allowed this particular turtle to survive and continue to thrive. It is however, illegal to take a Spotted Turtle from the wild due to their current status, regardless of good intentions. Read more...
The Wildlife Center operates under state permits from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and federal permits from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Our staff has professional training in wildlife first aid, care, and education.
The staff works closely with generous and talented local veterinarians.
The Wildlife Center is an active and professional member of the following organizations:
The mission of the Wildlife Center is to reduce impact on native Ohio wildlife through human education and wildlife rehabilitation. Each year nearly 2,000 injured and orphaned animals receive first aid; care and rehabilitation-many eventually resume their life in the wild. Some animals can not be released may become our animal ambassadors and assist us in teaching about wildlife issues and conservation.
Volunteers will learn the basic procedures and protocols involved with wildlife education and rehabilitation. They will develop and practice skills of animal husbandry/triage, environmental programming, and handling/enrichment for program animals directly from professionals in this field.
There are many opportunities for adults, juniors, and internships. Volunteers will be required to fill out an application, and attend orientation before joining fellow volunteers at the Center.