Baby bobcat recovering at wildlife care center |

Baby bobcat recovering at wildlife care center

Lauren Halsted, Tribune staff writer
Dan Thrift/Tahoe Daily TribuneAn 8-month-old bobcat plays at the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care center on Sunday.

Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has a new addition to the family — a baby bobcat with a broken leg.

When Cheryl Millham, who supervises the facility, went to open the cage, growling noises fit for a full-grown animal came from inside. “I’ve raised a lot of bobcats, and this one is in pain,” Millham said. “The babies don’t make noises like that.”

He was picked up Saturday from a rehabilitation canter and brought to LTWC. At his previous home, veterinarians diagnosed him with a broken leg and pinned it in place.

Veterinarian Kevin Willitts examined the bobcat Sunday afternoon and, aside from being in obvious pain, said that he felt OK. When he was placed on the floor, he “scooted” across the carpet using primarily his front legs.

He joins an 8-week-old female bobcat in the clinic that was brought in on Mother’s Day. She has a clean bill of health and runs around the room, playing with various toys scattered on the floor.

“We sit and watch her play. We don’t push ourselves on her, but we pet her if she comes up to us,” Millham said.

The wildlife center has existed for 24 years. Millham lives at the facility with her husband, Tom. “Animals need care night and day,” Cheryl Millham said. The birds are fed every 15 minutes from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The animals, like deer, raccoons, squirrels and chipmunks, need to be fed every few hours night and day. The couple rely on the help of volunteers to adhere to the demanding care schedule.

Last year alone, 874 birds and animals were cared for at the facility, including 55 different species of birds and 19 different species of animals.

The facility is complete with a clinic, where animals stay until they are old enough to go outside, and an outdoor “compound” with various cages and a flight area.

“Up here, wildlife has babies among us,” Cheryl Millham said. “Birds come from all over, as far as South America, to have babies here.”

This year, the cold weather has kept the facility relatively empty. Besides the two bobcats, there are two gray horned owls and a golden eagle.

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