A young bobcat is being released back into the wild after being hit by a car in San Jose last fall.
On Tuesday evening, the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley will set free the juvenile feline following a breakthrough surgery that saved the animal’s life.
In November, the bobcat was taken to Feline Specialist Dr. Rachel Boltz at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos after being struck by a car in southeast San Jose. A metal plate was placed in the animal’s damaged thigh to stabilize the two fractures it endured, an unusual procedure for wild animals.
“This is the most extensive work we have done on a bobcat,” said Janet Alexander, director of operations at Wildlife Center Silicon Valley, where the feline stayed during her rehabilitation. “This procedure is typically not done on wild animals that are going to be released.”
The bobcat was between 6 to 9 months old when the accident occurred. That is typically the age that wild felines separate from their mothers and branch out on their own.
The bobcat was likely following the trail of food or water when she entered a high traffic area, according to WCSV staff.
The animal was picked up by the California Department of Fish & Wildlife shortly after the accident.
“Without the assistance of CDFW, Dr. Boltz and Adobe Animal Clinic, and the dedicated animal care staff at WCSV, this animal would not have had the chance to be rehabilitated,” said Ashley Kinney, the rehabilitation supervisor at WCSV.
The WCSV has no way of tracking the bobcat once it is released, but they believe the wild animal will succeed in its natural habitat.
“It’s not every day that we get to witness the release of a predatory mammal such as this bobcat,” Alexander said. “We really hope this cat will continue to thrive in her release environment and successfully live out her life where she belongs—in the wild.”
The WCSV will release the animal in a remote area of Joseph D. Grant County Park near Blue Oak Ranch Reserve in San Jose at 5:30pm.