Watch A Young Bobcat Being Released Into Joshua Tree National Park

Here's a bit of happiness to end the week with: a young bobcat, rescued as a kitten by animal control workers in Twentynine Palms, has been released to a new life in Joshua Tree National Park.

The release took place the week of December 13, on private land immediately adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park, where the young cat will have abundant small rodents and cottontail rabbits to snack on.

The story didn't start out happy. Rescue workers first encountered the kitten in September, when she and her mother were seen raiding a backyard chicken coop in Twentynine Palms. The chicken's owner attempted to shoo the cats away, at which point Mama Bobcat ran up a power pole and met an untimely end when she came into contact with a live circuit. The homeowner managed to capture the kitten and got her to animal control.

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Here's what the kitten looked like in September:

Rescued bobkitten | Photo: City of Twentynine Palms

They grow up so fast. Just three months later, adequately fed and rehabbed at Fund For Animals' facility in Ramona, that kitten is ready to become one of Joshua Tree National Park's signature predators. The release above is courtesy of videographer Valeree Woodard.

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The release was witnessed by Woodard and a number of other members of the group Project Bobcat, which lobbied in favor of the recent statewide ban on bobcat trapping, a campaign sparked by activists' discovery in 2013 of a thriving trapping industry in Joshua Tree and the rest of the Mojave Desert.

And that's the best news of all: though this bobcat may have to contend with a number of perils in her life in the Mojave Desert, from speeding cars to hunger to live electrical wires, at least she doesn't have to contend with being trapped and killed for her fur.

Good luck, little girl. Plenty of rabbits out there for you.

For ongoing environmental coverage in March 2017 and afterward, please visit our show Earth Focus, or browse Redefine for historic material.
KCET's award-winning environment news project Redefine ran from July 2012 through February 2017.

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