Bobcat believed hit by car released in San Diego County park after 3 weeks of care

(San Diego Humane Society)


A bobcat believed to have been injured when it was hit by a car was returned to the wild this week in San Diego County’s Mission Trails Regional Park, officials said.

The cat, an adult male, had received three weeks of medical care and support from the San Diego Humane Society before being released.

Video of Wednesday’s release showed the bobcat slowly emerging from its crate and looking around for a good 15 seconds before running up a nearby hill and disappearing into trees and brush.

The release location in the park was within 10 miles of where the injured animal was found Jan. 18 in the Kearny Mesa area, said Andy Blue, director of San Diego Humane Society’s Ramona Wildlife Center.

A resident found the bobcat lying in a frontyard and called for help. Humane Society officers responded and transported the animal to an emergency veterinarian in Encinitas, where it was examined and given supportive care overnight.

The next day the bobcat was moved to the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center in San Diego, where it was treated for abrasions and minor contusions.

The animal’s injuries indicated it had likely been hit by a car, officials said.

After it was stabilized, the bobcat was moved to the Ramona Wildlife Center, where staff specialize in caring for predators such as bobcats, coyotes and bears.

Once the bobcat was cleared medically, the animal was monitored by staff to ensure it could feed on its own.


“Seeing this bobcat return to the wild is what it’s all about for us,” Blue said in a statement. “Bobcats play an important ecological role in our region and we are glad to see this one back where he belongs.”

Blue said 10 bobcats came into the Humane Society’s care last year, and six were rehabilitated and released. Two died and two young bobcats that came from Imperial County remain at the Ramona facility. They are expected to be released when they are older.

A bobcat believed to have been struck by a car in San Diego County was released into Mission Trails Regional Park
A bobcat believed to have been struck by a car in San Diego County pauses briefly after he was released into Mission Trails Regional Park on Wednesday.
(San Diego Humane Society)

Sick or injured wild animals brought to the Humane Society typically have been hit by vehicles, shot or fallen ill after ingesting poison, he said.

The Humane Society treats nearly 13,000 injured, orphaned and sick wild animals each year through its Project Wildlife program.