Wild Bobcat Brought into Wildlife Center on Thanksgiving

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The bobcat at the Wildlife Center of Virginia The bobcat at the Wildlife Center of Virginia
The wild bobcat had surprisingly few injuries The wild bobcat had surprisingly few injuries

While the holiday weekend is winding down, the Wildlife Center of Virginia is still reflecting on its Thanksgiving.

A wild bobcat was brought to the center in Waynesboro after she was struck by a car, lodged inside the grille of the vehicle, and then driven an hour before being noticed by the driver.

The Wildlife Center says it was not your typical Thanksgiving.

This is the first adult bobcat the center has received since 2011, and her journey and recovery are something employees say they will never forget.

“She's very ferocious,” says Dr. Alexa Ortiz, veterinarian intern at the center.

“This was our first adult bobcat into our clinic since 2011, and overall this is our seventh bobcat we've ever admitted, since 2011,” says Ortiz. “Usually one, maybe two per year is kind of our average, so we've definitely hit our limit this year."

On what’s typically a slow holiday, Ortiz got a call from Richmond Animal Control saying a woman had hit a bobcat.

“She drove an hour, all the way to work, and she actually got out of her car and discovered that in the grille of her car was a bobcat that was lodged all up in there,” says Ortiz.

The 19-pound, adult bobcat should have had broken bones and serious head trauma from being hit by the car.

“It was pretty surprising,” says Jenna Larios, licensed veterinary technician intern. “She did have obviously some head trauma but it could have been at a much worse extent, so she's really very, very lucky."

The female feline’s only noticeable injury from the outside is an 8-centimeter wound on her back.

However, she was still brought into the center immediately after she was found just to be safe.

“She's looking a lot better,” says Ortiz. “She was growling, baring her teeth at me - definitely would like to leave."

But, since it's bobcat hunting season and she's been on medication, she can't leave just yet.

“Honestly, it's pretty amazing that that was just a few injuries here and there that she had and she's already pretty much fully recovered from all of that,” says Ortiz.

In about a month, she'll be released back into the wild.

“This is definitely a Thanksgiving that I won't forget,” says Larios.

You can learn more about this bobcat’s story on the center's website.