URBANA — Two baby bobcats under the care of the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic are ready to begin the next stage in their journey to be released back into the wild, according to the UI College of Veterinary Medicine.
The two bobcat kittens, brought to the clinic May 20 after they were found on a fright-train car in the Tuscola area, are being taken this morning to TreeHouse Wildlife Center, a licensed rehabilitation center near Alton.
The center is experienced in raising and releasing orphaned bobcats, according to the UI college.
The bobcat kittens have more than doubled in weight since their stay at the Wildlife Medical Clinic and now weight 3.5 and 2.5 pounds, according to Nicki Rosenhagen, student manger of the clinic.
"They came in thin, dehydrated, hungry and full of intestinal parasites, and they are now fat and healthy," she said in a statement. "They have been eating mice, rats, chicken and fish and are ravenous."
The kittens have been kept in the clinic's isolation room to keep stress and interactions with people down.
When the clinic staff has needed to handle them, they've hissed, spit, growled and swatted the way a healthy bobcat of that age should do, Rosenhagen said.