A Texas woman rescued what she thought were two kittens. However, they were bobcats, and now the animals have died.
According to a WFAA report, the animals passed away at the Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation, Inc. wildlife sanctuary. Animal Care Services removed the felines from the San Antonio woman named Jane Dinscore, who took them in and placed them with the habitat.
“Infant wild animals are fragile, vulnerable creatures and we cannot imagine the stress that taking them from their mother and natural habitat puts on their immune systems. As humans, we want to care for them but evolution has taught wild animals that humans are their #1 predator. No human can replicate the care given by a mother or father in the wild. We are saddened by this tragedy but must take this important opportunity to repeat the message that wild animals should be left alone and only belong in the wild,” the wildlife rescue wrote on its Facebook page of the cats’ passing.
Originally, the Texas family believed the kittens, which an Atascosa County man gave his relatives, were rare Bengal kittens. However, after they tried to feed their new pets, they realized something was wrong.
During the feeding, the kittens destroyed the milk bottles, which also led to three human injuries. The unexpected feeding caused the family to do more research online, after which they began to suspect that the kittens were bobcats instead of Bengals. At that point, they contacted San Antonio’s Animal Care Services.
— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) June 3, 2018
According to the Huffington Post, the kittens died from feline parvovirus, which is the virus that causes feline panleukopenia. Unfortunately, the disease is highly contagious and causes vomiting, dehydration, and fever, along with neurological symptoms.
The family that adopted the felines believed them to be domestic cats, and they were supposedly found in rural Atascosa County. Ultimately, Dinscore received a criminal citation on May 15, but the reason for it remains unclear.
The kittens may have been more susceptible to the deadly parvovirus because they were likely separated from their mother too quickly, and they may not have received colostrum from their mother, which would’ve boosted their immune systems.
Typically, bobcat kittens receive immunity from the parvovirus from their mother’s milk. Additionally, the stress of being removed from their environment may have caused their immune systems to work less efficiently than they otherwise might have functioned.
While the Dinscores genuinely seemed to believe these cats were domestic, they ended up in a scary situation, and the kittens died. When rescuing an animal, it’s always a good idea to take a trip to the vet at the very beginning to ensure the animal’s health and well-being.