Dr. Chloe Wilde is our wildlife biologist. She studied ecology at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Her favorite topic of study is conservation. Dr. Wilde is passionate about learning about and teaching others about how they can help wild cat populations, including reducing their use of products with palm oil in them. Though Carolina Tiger Rescue does not have any, Dr. Wilde’s favorite animal to study is the clouded leopard.
Dr. Wilde’s Blog 4/13/21
Let me hear you belt out the birthday song for Willow Bobcat today! It is Willow’s first birthday! She came to us when she was just five months old. Willow was born in the wild but lost her mother before she was ready to live on her own. A wildlife rehabilitation facility in her home state of Illinois took her in, hoping to raise her to thrive in the wild and release her back into her native habitat. However, Willow continued to seek out humans. This behavior made it unsafe for her to be released. We were asked to give Willow a home and happily took her in.
In her time with us, Willow has surely come out of her shell! She enjoys small groups of visitors and will show her energetic and curious personality to those who spend a little time with her. She enjoys knocking pinecones around and gets excited for new enrichment. It’s hard to imagine that this is the same wild cat who was so shy and nervous in quarantine soon after her arrival. With the right care, plenty of patience, and time and space to settle in, Willow has realized that this is a safe place for her. She has grown so much since coming to her forever home, both in personality and in appearance – just check out these photos of her arrival versus a recent visit to her enclosure!
Willow provides a great opportunity to talk about how we should treat the wild animals around us. Respect their space. Do not try to approach them or feed them. This could be unsafe for you as well as the animal. If you find a baby animal in the wild, it is best to leave them alone. It is very likely that their mother will be back for them and if we move them, we are preventing that reunion. You can, however, make note of where you saw them and check back later to see if they are still there. If they are, the best thing to do is call local wildlife officials, so they may keep an eye on the situation and get the animal to the proper place if necessary. The best thing we can do for wild animals is allow them to be wild!