southwest Florida

Bobcat Kitten Rescued From SW Florida Brush Fire

A sign of life was discovered inside the lines of a brush of a Southwest Florida brush fire.

A news crew stumbled upon a 2-week-old bobcat underneath some charred brush that was crying out for help.

It was found alone in an area of Lee County where a brush fire has scorched at least 625 acres.

There was no sign of the mother, so Florida Fish and Wildlife officials were called in.

A local panther biologist says the kitten wouldn't have been able to survive on his own.

"A really fast moving fire it can burn up the kittens... we've had cases where panther kittens have been burned up in wildfires," said FWC anther biologist, Mark Lotz.

The baby bobcat suffered some smoke inhalation, was severely dehydrated and suffered a blister on his paw because the ground was so hot.

Lotz says on most occasions they do all they can to leave rescued animals in the wild.

"I'd really like to leave him out there, because as you heard him calling, he'll do that throughout the night just like he's doing right now, and mom is gonna come back looking for him."

Lotz believes the kitten is a miracle and the news crew that helped to spot him likely saved his life.

"I'd say he's lucky," he said.

FWC gave the kitten some water and then released him back into the wild where hopefully he will be reunited with his family. Wildlife officials said they plan to return Saturday to check on him.

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