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Who Knew Bobcats Could Swim?

An invite to watch rehabbed animals released into the wild? Count us in. On Sunday, April 3, we got to see the purpose of Holly’s Nest Animal rescue in action.

Two bobcats, taken in by Holly’s Nest founder Byron Wortham, were orphans no bigger than a hamster when they came to him due to someone hunting irresponsibly. Byron had to bottle feed the orphan cats until they were big enough to eat solids. Their diets consisted mainly of rabbit and squirrel. After 5 and a half months, he knew they were wild and they were ready.

The plan was to release the animals near a lake on the property of Cameron Boys Camp. In an attempt to get some action shots of the cats running, it was decided to release them on a peninsula of the lake to give us a couple extra seconds before they hit the woodline.

What none of us knew, is that bobcats swim.

Instead of taking off in what we thought was the only direction for them to go, they both splashed into the water. While one ended up hiding in some tall grass, the other took off across the lake and into the woods. We managed to get one snapshot before (hopefully) never seeing the bobcats again.

“Man is the reason they were orphans,” says Bryon. “I don’t want them to be seen again. I want them wild.”

What other animal was released yesterday? This barred owl, who was accidentally hit by a car six weeks earlier.

After lots of care and rehab, he’s spreading his wings back into the wild. “It never gets old watching them fly off,” says Byron.

Holly’s Nest is a nonprofit animal rescue. All the work they do is through donation or out of pocket. If you’re interested in helping Holly’s Nest rescue and rehab wildlife in the area, donate. For more about Holly’s Nest and how it began, read here.

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