26 June 2017

Price of ignorance - kidnapped kitten

Last evening, my husband brought home a bobcat kitten some tourists stole from its mom. Apparently, it was playing with its siblings, humans appeared, mom and siblings hid, and this one ended up stuck and unable to hide. So those ignorant people took it away, instead of just freeing it and leaving it there.
Anyway, the tourists brought it to local Forest Service, and in the evening, Forest Service gave the kitten to my husband. He is now trying to locate from where the kitten was taken so that he can return it to its family. Partly because that would be the best for poor baby, and partly because bobcats are a quite common animal, and there is no place for it in a zoo.
All this would be easy if the kitten is not really small. It requires feedings every 4-5 hours. So kitten was kidnaped, starved, parched. It did not get any liquids until my husband gave it half a glass of water last night. We did not have appropriate milk for it at that time. Cow milk is unacceptable because it would make it sick. The local zoo was happy to provide milk for the starving kitten, but they urge my husband to try to return it to a wild, because they have no room, nor know any other zoo that would need a bobcat kitten.
I’m torn, going from crying in sympathy with suffering kitten and its family to the raging at the ignorant people who caused so much suffering of this poor little creature. We are talking about a baby, a baby stolen away from the only love it knew, a baby who is simply terrified by the situation, a baby forced to starve.
And why?
Because ignorant people have no idea how wildlife works. And even worse, in this day and with all fancy technology they had, they did not bother to read up what to do from reliable sources. These particular people had a high-end camera with them and took pictures of a poor suffering kitten before they kidnapped it. Meaning, they had access to the internet and necessary information. But they did not bother to check.
Please, help prevent situations like this. If you find some wildlife animal in trouble, or animal baby seemingly alone, call local version of Fish and Wildlife and ask them what to do.
My guess is they will tell you to go away from the baby because its mom is probably close. And for an injured animal, again stay away and call authorities.
My husband told me about suffering and torture a woman caused to an injured deer because she thought she is helping it by putting a blanket over it. Deer died before my husband could do anything, most likely due to increased stress.
From deer’s perspective, a predator (and we are a predator to them) put unknown stuff all over it, after it was hit by another bigger monster (car). Deer was in shock, waiting when that woman will start eating it alive. I would call that increased stress. I would call this torturing a dying animal.
I have to repeat, if you find animal baby alone, leave it be, where it is, do not even touch it. Just go away. It is not abandoned. Animals do not have daycare services or babysitters to care for their offspring while they are getting food. Instead, they train their young to stay put and out of trouble while they are getting food. So leave baby animals alone.
If you find hurt wild animal, call authorities, call local version of Fish and Wildlife, or police. Police usually inform real experts and those experts always do what the best for that animal is.
Do not go by the advice of some anti-science person you know. The damage of ignorance is real, painful, and devastating; especially for that poor creature, you are actually trying to help. Listen to experts, real experts, the ones who actually went to school for it. There are no conspiracies here. Really, there are no conspiracies, just handling backed by real science.

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