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Bobcat mistakenly pounces on porcupine

The young bobcat picked the wrong prey for dinner
This is a recording of the TV6 News Tonight.
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 2:06 PM EST
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - A young female bobcat decided it wanted to pounce on a porcupine for dinner in Dickinson County.

It soon realized it had made a mistake.

It’s now in Hancock in the care of Beth Maatta, a UP wildlife rehabilitator.

“It was probably inexperienced, a juvenile inexperienced hunter looking for any easy prey,” said Maatta. “Porcupines move slow, probably jumped down onto the porcupine not realizing the consequences.”

A hunter found the bobcat in Dickinson County. It was weak and pricked with quills from its mouth to its groin.

The DNR and Maata coordinated its transport to a vet in Houghton to remove the quills.

She says a full recovery is possible.

“It’s guarded but I’m hopeful for this to pull through and get strong enough to eventually be released into the wild,” said Maatta.

However, returning a wild cat to the woods can be difficult.

“A cat is much different, they are easier to imprint on humans, that’s another big concern here compared to birds,” said Maatta.

Bobcats rarely need to be rehabbed. Maatta says this is only the second one she’s taken in.

She will stay hands-off as much as possible to prevent the bobcat from becoming friendly.

“It’s definitely not just all cuddles and cute. It’s checking on it multiple times a day,” said Maatta. “Keeping our distance, fighting our urges to talk to it or cuddle it.”

Maatta says she’ll keep the baby safe until spring and teach it to hunt more desirable prey.

If you ever find wildlife in need of help, contact Maatta.

Otherwise, check this list of rehabbers in the UP based on the type of animal.

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