Bobcat back home after rebounding from tick-toxin paralysis

Bobcat back home after rebounding from tick-toxin paralysis

October 6th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Georgia

Dr. Terry Norton, left front, Dr. Meredith Persky, right front, and wildlife management staff for the Jekyll Island Authority carry a pet crate containing a bobcat that they returned to the wild Friday, Oct. 6, 2017, on Jekyll Island, Ga. The young bobcat, one of only four known to live at the island state park, was treated at the Jacksonville Zoo in neighboring Florida after hikers on Jekyll Island found the animal paralyzed in late September. The wild cat recovered in a few days. Vets blamed its paralysis on ticks they found covering the bobcat. (AP Photo/Russ Bynum)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. (AP) - A rare bobcat has returned to a Georgia island park teeming with deer but not many predators, possibly restoring a bit of the natural balance there.

Wildlife staffers at Jekyll Island State Park were stunned nearly two weeks ago when hikers found a young bobcat lying paralyzed. Only four of the wild cats are known to live there - and they're the first ones in roughly a century.

The bobcat, estimated at 1 ½ years old, was taken to the Jacksonville Zoo in neighboring Florida. Veterinarians say it recovered after they removed dozens of ticks, which they say likely caused the paralysis.

The bobcat returned to Jekyll Island for release Friday. It bolted from a pet carrier and vanished down a trail after giving its caretakers a last, piercing growl.