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Kayak hitchhiking kitten under doctor's care in Sault Michigan

It's thin but healthy, says Dr. Jeff LaHuis
Sault Animal Hospital baby bobcat
Dr. Jeff LaHuis of the Sault Animal Hospital and the young bobcat. Source: Facebook

On Tuesday, July 5, the Sault Animal Hospital located on Ashmun Street in Sault Michigan received a special and very adorable visitor - a male bobcat kitten.

The six- to eight-week-old kitten was brought to the clinic after it was found swimming near the Neebish Island rock cut.

Obviously unable to escape the water due to the high rock walls, the kitten reportedly climbed into the kayak in an effort to save itself, Dr. Jeff LaHuis told SooToday.

He said the kitten is thin but healthy, and currently enjoying a diet of cat food.

He’ll soon begin to feed the young bobcat mice to ensure it’s accustomed to the species’ natural diet.

Although the animal seems to tolerate human contact, LaHuis said he’s trying to minimize its interaction with people so it can be successfully released back into the wild once it has been rehabilitated.

It’s only bitten him twice, he said half joking.

As a licensed Michigan Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, the Sault Animal Hospital is no stranger to wild critters of all walks.

In addition to the male bobcat kitten, the facility is currently fostering an orphaned fawn and a number of baby racoons, and regularly receives injured and sick owls, eagles and other birds of prey from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

While young wildlife is commonly found by humans and presumed orphaned or abandoned, LaHuis said that’s usually not the case.

Mothers will often leave their young unattended, especially deer and large preying birds, while they go out to feed or hunt, he explained.

Unless an animal is obviously injured or in distress, the best course of action is leave it be and contact the DNR.

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Donna Hopper

About the Author: Donna Hopper

Donna Hopper has been a photojournalist with SooToday since 2007, and her passion for music motivates her to focus on area arts, entertainment and community events.
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