A sweet three-week-old bobcat kitten was rescued when a man was bulldozing his property. The kitten appeared. The kitten was rescued. She was put into a carrier. For some reason the man put his hand into the carrier perhaps to grab hold of the kitten to bring her out and, guess what, the kitten nipped him on the finger. She drew blood. Because of this simple act the kitten was euthanised and her head cut off to be analysed by the authorities because she may have had rabies.
Before the kitten was killed, she was fostered by a lady who you see in the video. She is Georgia Lafita, a certified wildlife rehabilitator. Georgia is obviously an experienced person and she is absolutely certain that the kitten did not have rabies. Watch the video and judge for yourself.
I think we can deduce that she is correct because what the man did was almost certain to produce the reaction that it did and I think we can blame him for the death of this charming kitten.
The original plan was to care for the kitten until she was weaned at 12 weeks of age and then transport the cat to an animal rescue facility to be paired with an older bobcat to teach her to hunt. Thereafter to be released into the wild.
None of that happened of course. What could have happened, as an alternative, is that they could have confined and held her for observation to 10 days. If the kitten remained healthy at the end of that period then it could be said that she was not exposed to rabies. However, for some reason that method of proceeding was inappropriate in this instance perhaps because it applies to domestic cats and not wild cats. However, for the life of me, I can’t see a difference.
“I feel the health Department considers wildlife disposable, that their lives don’t matter.”
Before the kitten was taken away to be euthanised, the executive director of the National Bobcat Rescue and Research Centre in Terrell, Texas asked George if he could help in any way. She replied that the deed had already been done. She said:
“It’s over, and I just hope that this kitten has not died in vain. I hope this is opening the eyes of the powers that be.”
A big cat conservation organisation had offered to pay for a rabies shots to be given to the man who was bitten by the kitten as a precaution. This was not possible because he suffered from a heart condition and had just had heart surgery.
It was an unfortunate series of events but we have to say that it was the careless behaviour of this man who signed the death warrant of this kitten, no doubt about it. And the authorities did not wish to find any alternative solutions. Very sad. The kitten should have been saved. This lovely lady is correct.