Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary Welcomes Lynx Kitten Doug | Community


RED LODGE, Mont. – The Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary at Red Lodge just got bigger with the addition of a curious, bright-eyed kitten named Doug the Bobcat.

Doug was brought to Montana WILD Wildlife Center when he was about three weeks old. Montana WILD says feral cats easily imprint this young imprint on humans and Doug is no exception. However, since it is imprinted on people, it cannot be released into the wild.

Enter the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary (YWS).

“This is exactly the type of situation that the sanctuary is there for,” said Eden Wondra, education manager for YWS. “Although we are very sad that this is happening to him, we are delighted to welcome this lovely guy and give him the best life possible!”

YWS says a lot of specialist care and effort went into providing proper diet and fortification for Doug in the months leading up to his transfer.

While the Wildlife Center prefers to see bobcats in the wild, this kitten gets the next best thing at the sanctuary, helping educate visitors about Montana wildlife and conservation.

“It’s a big event,” said Gary Robson, executive director of YWS. “Until the Montana HB 305 passed this year, the Montana FWP was very limited in where they could send non-releasable wildlife. Previously, it took a lot of exemptions and special treatments to send FWP animals to the sanctuary. Now accreditation by the American Sanctuary Association is recognized by state law, and transfers like this are easy.

Doug was the first mammal transferred to the YWS after the law change, following a red-tailed hawk a few months ago. Other wildlife, wildlife, and park animals at the sanctuary include a mountain lion and two black bears.

Doug is currently in a mandatory 30-day quarantine. But after that, YWS will go through a carefully watched process to introduce him to their other bobcat, Bob, who he will eventually live with.

YWS members will be the first visitors to meet Doug at a members-only event that has yet to be announced. If you would like to purchase a YWS membership, you can do so by visiting their website.

At present, YWS operates during winter hours. They are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. In January and February 2022, YWS will be closed to the public, except for educational events and scheduled tours.

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