Introducing Bobby to Behavioral Training
June 10, 2016
Bobby the Bobcat, the 17-year-old blind bobcat we rescued from Ohio in January, is settling in at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The beautiful senior bobcat is still very shy, only coming out when he doesn’t hear loud noises or lots of people.
The staff sees him, most days, early in the morning or late in the afternoon. He really enjoys his fire hose bench and laying in the shade in his habitat.
Recently, we have begun introducing Bobby to our behavioral training program. This program helps us observe our animals and make sure they are healthy. It also is used to enrich the animals’ lives.
Ivy, an animal care staff member, has been working with Bobby. At this point, Bobby is still very shy of humans so his training consists of Ivy tossing bits of red meat, his favorite treat, into his night house. She will then step back a few paces and sit down to wait. When Bobby comes out to eat the treats she will blow her whistle, to let Bobby know he is doing good. Every day she gets a little closer to the habitat, inching her way into his world.
At first, Bobby refused to come out until Ivy was gone, but slowly he has started to venture further and further into his night house to get the treats while she is present. She is happy to see progress with Bobby and believes with time he might progress further into the program.
These training sessions are very beneficial when it comes to observing the animals and making sure they are healthy. With Bobby training is even more important, since he is a senior cat and blind. We are very happy that Bobby is warming up to training and coming out where we can see him.
We look forward to watching Bobby’s progress.