UC Merced Supports Health Services, New Enclosure for Bobcat at Local Zoo

Four years ago, local elementary students chose the Golden Bobcat as UC Merced’s mascot. Today, a real live bobcat would like to be a part of UC Merced’s first class on opening day. A four-month-old cub was anonymously dumped at Merced’s Applegate Zoo a few weeks ago, where zoo workers found him stuffed in a trash bag, covered in mites and fleas and suffering from several other health problems.

Dr. Christine McFadden, the zoo’s official vet, cooperated with dedicated zookeeper Donna McDowell over many hours nursing the cub back to health. He is now as playful, rambunctious, curious and clownish as any domestic kitten, but this kitty does not belong in your kitchen with a saucer of milk! Bobcats, even when raised in captivity, are notoriously aggressive and untamable. The California Department of Fish and Game, however, has determined that this particular feline should not be released back into the wild because of his early difficulties, which could cause him to need further veterinary care in the future.

In honor of the opening of UC Merced and in cooperation with Applegate Zoo, UC Merced announces a campaign to care for this cub. The zoo has agreed to allow UC Merced students to name the cub. Funds raised will go directly to the zoo to help build a new, naturalistic enclosure for the cub, where university personnel and others from the community can visit him. Any additional funds will go towards the cat’s care and feeding for the next several years.

Please send donations in care of Pam Moody, UC Merced Office of Administration, PO Box 2039, Merced, CA 95344. Pam can be reached at (209) 724-4414 or pmoody@ucmerced.edu. Checks should be made out to the Applegate Zoo, City of Merced. Please be sure to include your name and address if you would like to receive an acknowledgement.

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